Albany's the capital city of New York. In 1970, the city was 87% white.
Today, the city's 52% white.
What type of quality of life's found in this soon-to-be majority-minority city?
In 2017, every homicide in the city involved a non-white suspect and non-white victim. [6 of Albany's 16 homicides in past 19 months remain unsolved: Details of cases could help determine best course of action against violence, Times Union, 7-21-18]:
ALBANY — Nearly eight months after 35-year-old Anthony Malloy was shot and killed in broad daylight at First and Quail streets, Albany Police remain tightlipped on details of the January 4 incident. No arrests have been made.
Fast forward to July 14, when 31-year-old Khalil Barnes was gunned down just after midnight while sitting in his car at the same popular West Hill intersection. No arrests have been made.
Both men were known to police and had served time in prison: Malloy for beating his former girlfriend in 2001; Barnes for crimes he committed as a member of the former Arbor Hill/West Hill gang, the Jungle Junkies.
Police say some cases take more time than others, but they’re making progress. The details of what detectives learn are rarely discussed before trial for fear of jeopardizing a case.
"You may have an idea of who it is rather quickly and the case is closed in a week or so. Other cases take longer to develop," said Commander Ed Donohue, who leads the city police department’s Criminal Investigation Unit. "It depends on how much evidence and cooperation we get."
Of the 16 homicides Albany has seen in the past 19 months, 6 of them remain unsolved — most of them more recent. More than half of 2018's murders in Albany have occurred in the past 2 months, a time of year when temperatures rise and tempers flare. Criminal justice experts say that it’s the details of those cases — the backgrounds of the 16 victims and the suspected perpetrators – that are central to finding the right course of action to prevent future violence in communities.
All of the victims in 2018's homicides were African-American or Latino and most lived in low-income neighborhoods. The violent incidents also are mostly concentrated North of Central Avenue and West of Delaware Avenue, communities that struggle the most with poverty.
"It's not about color," said Alice Green, executive director at the Center for Law & Justice. "People who live in poverty, people who are forced to live in frustrating, stress-producing environments are more likely to respond in violent ways."