- 13 homicides in July - the most deadly month since a shooting spree in 1949
- Murder rate was ten times New York City in 2011 -- and on pace to be even higher this year
- More than half of children live below the poverty line as city is ravaged by drugs
- Police department forced to cut one third of officers in 2011 and arrests dropped to less than half of what they were in 2009
Camden, New Jersey, has long been one of the most dangerous places in America, but recent police cuts combined with the highest unemployment rate in New Jersey have made the city even deadlier.
This year there have been 39 murders in the city of 77,000 — on pace to break the all-time record set in 1995.
In 2011, the murder rate was ten times than that of New York City and 30 percent higher than New Orleans, Louisiana, the most dangerous large city in the nation.
Camden was once a bustling industrial town but drugs and alcohol abuse now run rife in an area that is economically deprived. More than half of all children live below the poverty line.
The city finds itself in the midst of a drug war as unemployed young men with nothing to lose battle for territory across the city.
Large gang networks are competing with local drug deals and the results of always violent.
Last month, 27-year-old Robert Carstarphen was shot dead in an alley during a fight over drug dealing territory between members of the Bloods street gang. The following day, two more men were dead after a retaliation hit.
The deaths brought the total number of homicides for July to 13 – making the month the city’s worst since September 1949 when mass murderer Howard Unruh left the same number dead in a shooting spree.
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