The first thing that happens when I arrive at the Wilmington, Delaware, train station is that the newsstand cashier hands me counterfeit money as change when I buy an umbrella. Next, I walk outside and look for Sergeant Andrea Janvier. During my four days in Wilmington last month, there were four shootings, all involving male victims between 17 and None occurred while I was driving around What is wilmington delaware known for Janvier, 41, or when I did a ride-along with two cops.
This year, there have been 27 homicides in Wilmington, tying its record 27 murders inand people have been shot. Twenty-two of them died. The national average was perpeople.
Wilmington ranks third for violence among cities of comparable size, behind the Michigan towns of Saginaw and Flint, according to a Wilmington News Journal report. For a city mired in violence, the most stunning fact of all may be that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit. In Wilmington, where 58 percent of residents are African-American, crime and violence disproportionately affect poor black families, especially boys and young men.
Exacerbating tensions between residents and law enforcement is the fact that the police department is 70 percent white and 21 percent black. That disparity is reminiscent of Ferguson, Missouri, which was thrust into the national spotlight this summer when a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen.
Protests erupted across the city as police poured into the streets dressed in camouflage and armed with tanks, tear gas and military-grade weapons. With a population of 21,Ferguson is much smaller than Wilmington, though it, too, has a predominantly black community 67 percent and an almost entirely white police force 4 out of 53 commissioned police officers are black, according to The New York Times. Wilmington Police
What is wilmington delaware known for Steve Chaffin follows up with a resident in the West Center City neighborhood after the resident's spouse entered the emergency room of Christiana Hospital carrying three knives.
Daniel Sato for Newsweek. Chrysler and GM are closing. It should have never got to that point—and the state has been running the school districts here since Halfway between Philadelphia and Baltimore, Wilmington has become a way station for drug traffickers.
The highway made it easy for anyone looking to buy drugs to get off at the nearest exit. The program will support and train communities on how to develop long-term solutions for addressing violence and crime.
The situation in Wilmington is so dire that, earlier this year, the state brought in the U. The CDC is supposed to present its findings by the end of the year. Brother Lamotte X of the Wilmington Peace Keeperswhich works to reduce crime and violence in the city, says he started campaigning for a homicide unit six years ago. Two men sit on the sidewalk as Wilmington police officers search the car they were riding in after it was stopped for going the wrong way down a one-way street in the Little Italy neighborhood of Wilmington on Nov.
The nicest neighborhoods are snuggled in leafy middle- and upper-middle-class enclaves, where manicured lawns and stately homes and apartment buildings are enshrouded in a peaceful cocoon. The majority of all public U. By the end ofDelaware boasted more active business entities over 1, than What is wilmington delaware known forThis other Wilmington is blighted with rundown, two-story brick row houses in high-crime neighborhoods like Hilltop, Eastside and Browntown.
Some homes are vacant, their doors and windows boarded up. Many are rentals, which tends to attract a transient crowd, including drug dealers. Stoop after stoop, porch after porch, young black men sit and pass the time. During the day, women corral children in the park. When the sun goes down, many blocks are pitch-black. Very few porch lights are on.
As she stepped out on the curb, a bullet sliced through her left knee, severing an artery. Moments earlier, Jermaine Laster, 34, had been punched in the face and publicly humiliated by a local rival.
Janvier turns down What is wilmington delaware known for street in Browntown. There were a couple victims in there. When Williams, 61, ran for mayor, he touted his experience on the police force and in the state Legislature. The plan calls for approximately 60 officers in each area. Absolutely nowhere near 60, never was! A police academy, set to begin this fall to boost those numbers, was pushed back two months while the budget awaited approval.
It looked like the days of the Depression. Not everyone is convinced the homicide unit can make a difference.
The police can only police. The homicide unit really is, in my opinion, shuffling Dedicating a unit to homicide City Councilman Street is more blunt: Chalk outlines and numbered cones mark spent shell casings following a shooting in the Browntown neighborhood of Wilmington on Nov. Both requested only their last names be used. Moments before, our car suddenly smelled as if it had been hot-boxed.
The Cadillac in front of us is clearly the source of the marijuana smoke, Cannon says, and we could be seconds away from a car chase. Inside are two black men in their mid- to late 20s. Geiser and Cannon handcuff and search them, then tell them to sit on the ground while they look up their information.
Cannon asks him what happened. Last year, the man says, he was shot seven times.
The young man stares at the ground and shrugs his shoulders. Across the street, a few people gather on the corner to watch Geiser search the car. He finds a blunt and a bottle of prescription Tylenol with codeine.
Despite this, he and Cannon let both men go. Geiser What is wilmington delaware known for been on the job for eight years, Cannon for five. I ask them what it takes for a child in the worst parts of Wilmington to make it out.
Nine boys, around middle school age, are hanging out on a street corner. Geiser pulls over, and Cannon rolls down his window. What you guys up to? Cannon rolls up his window. They all have guns. Between andgun violence accounted for about 70 percent of all homicides in the U. Inblack Americans were 55 percent of gun homicide victims but 13 percent of the population, according to a Pew report. Whites, on the other hand, represented 25 percent of victims and percent of the population.
In July, year-old Crystal Brown was struck and killed by stray gunfire while outside of the market. In October, a video surfaced of two Wilmington boys, both shirtless, fighting on a sidewalk while adults egged them on. It has since been removed. This is who did it. Their house will get shot up, egged, vandalized.
Improving trust and collaboration between police and residents is a top priority for Police Chief Bobby Cummings. Each week, the command staff walks the streets in an effort to get to know residents. The community knows who did it, because they saw it. We need the community to help us so we can help them.
Wilmington police sergeant David Rosenblum leads evening roll call on Nov. Current staffing calls for 21 officers to be spread among three sectors of Wilmington at any given time, but at times as few as nine patrol the city. Coley Harris, 41, represents the worst Wilmington can be and the best it can become.