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Resource ID: #25758
Subject: Crime
Source: The News Journal (Delaware)
Date: 2024-06-16



Wilmington, Del., has become one of the most violent cities of its size in America. Nothing dramatized that fact more than several spectacular shootings in 2012, including one day in June when three people were shot to death in separate incidents, and a shootout a few weeks later at a soccer tournament that killed three people -- including a teenager waiting to play the game he loved. To document and study the violence he and other News Journal colleagues were covering, senior reporter Cris Barrish gathered information for a database detailing the 158 shootings, including 42 homicides, over a 20-month period. He learned that police made arrests in only one-third of the cases, many of which collapsed in court. His research into why police could not solve cases led to the revelation that both shooting suspects and victims had been arrested an average of about two dozen times, with many qualifying as habitual criminals -- a phenomenon that some authorities call "thugicide.'' His stories also explored the “don't snitch'' code of the streets that cripples prosecution of these cases, not only by the men on both sides of the gun barrel, but also by residents who are terrified of the gunmen and distrustful of law enforcement.

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