Killing on Cincinnati's streets on same pace as last year, serious crime down slightly

WCPO breaks down stats in each police district

CINCINNATI -- Joshua Taylor was killed for defending the honor of a female friend last week in an early evening slaying just steps from a Downtown hotel.

Taylor, 25, threw up his fists. The suspect pulled a gun and shot Taylor, making him the city’s 41st homicide statistic. Police arrested Fonte Williams, 22, of Westwood in the death.

“Williams said or did something to Taylor’s female friend, which Taylor didn’t appreciate,” Central Business District commander Capt. Paul Broxterman said. “Taylor was prepared to square-up in the street, but Williams had another way of resolving the conflict.”

The bold Downtown killing —followed the next night by another retaliatory shooting that left three people hurt in virtually the same area —again spotlighted homicide in Cincinnati. The city saw it's 42nd homicide Saturday night when one man was fatally shot on Millvalle Court. Another man was injured in that shooting.

Despite a year that started with an alarming surge in killings, a six-month review of crime statistics shows that homicide in Cincinnati has slowed and is on pace to match last year, which ended in 75 slayings.

And crimes of violence reported to Cincinnati police, which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults, is down by 17 percent during the first six months of this year when  compared to the same time last year. Over three years, reported violent crime has dropped by 18 percent citywide.

The murderous trend that started the year prompted city and police officials to come up with new strategies in combating violent crime, most notably providing additional dollars for police overtime and building cases against gangs that wreak havoc is some of the poorest parts of the city.



Mayor John Cranley, Chief Jeffrey Blackwell and other CPD command staff outline the effects of additional police visibility overtime spending on city streets, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at District 4 headquarters in Avondale. Kareem Elgazzar | WCPO



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Serious Crime Down Citywide

Serious crime reported to Cincinnati police, which includes violent crime and property crimes, has dipped by 5 percent during the first six months of this year compared to the first half of 2013. And over a three-year span, serious crime has dropped by 12 percent.

But it's the crimes of violence – homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults – that grab headlines, lead evening newscasts and impact the public's perception of the safety of a city, including the report Friday night of a masked gunman who robbed Rock Bottom Brewery on Fountain Square. That robbery was just blocks from where Taylor was killed. 

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Property crimes, largely defined as various kinds of theft, are down 3 percent citywide, with vehicle break-ins posting the sharpest decline of 9 percent.


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WCPO Insiders may read the district-by-district breakdowns, view citywide violent crime statistics and learn what each district captain is doing to combat crime in their neighborhood.

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