08 April 2009

The recession and violent crime (updated)

With the economy in recession since the banks failed back in the fall, the War in Iraq draining millions or billions of dollars daily from the government's budget, and jobs disappearing as time goes by, there seems to be a spike of violent crime--at least in the world of the news media.
On Feb. 15, an NBC Nightly News report covered funding cuts for various American police departments

- Nov. 16, 2008: Computer engineer Jing Hua Wu, who was laid off from his job at Santa Clara semiconductor company SiPort, kills SiPort CEO Sid Agrawal, vice president of operations Brian Pugh, and human resources head Marilyn Lewis.
- Feb. 8, 2009: R&B singer Chris Brown assaults girlfriend/singer Rihanna, gets arrested, and will be arraigned on Monday, Apr. 6. This incident was the subject of non-stop discussion that month, and Rihanna cancelled her Grammy Award performance on that day because of the attack. Brown pled not guilty.
- March 8, 2009: Rev. Fred Winters is shot to death during a sermon.
- March 10, 2009: Murder-suicide in Alabama
- March 20, 2009: Following hateful/destructive vandalism, threats of a school shooting circulated the Internet last night. That led the majority of students not to show up at Evergreen Valley High School today. During the same week, rumors spread about gang initiation meetings
- March 21, 2009: In a shootout, high-school dropout and parolee Lovelle Mixon kills four Oakland police officers before being shot dead himself.
- March 29, 2009: Devan Kalathat murders four family members and wounds his wife; after the shooting he kills himself.
- April 3, 2009: Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong (born Voong) shoots dead two people at a Binghamton, N.Y. immigration center. He recently lost a job.
- April 4, 2009: Richard Poplawski shoots three Pittsburgh police officers to death and wounds two others when they came responding to a domestic dispute call. Poplawski was expelled from Catholic high school and joined the Marines to seek his GED. At least he's now in custody.
- Later that day, a father in Seattle killed all five of his children and committed suicide. His name is James Harrison.
- April 7: Another murder-suicide, this time in Alabama, but not related to the older one
- April 9: Gunman kills one, injures three at Korean Christian retreat in Riverside County, Calif.; armed man in police pursuit over three felony warrants disrupts traffic in I-80 near Lake Tahoe, Calif.
- April 11: Sunday School teacher Melissa Huckaby is arrested for the murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, who'd been missing since March 27 and found dead April 6. Rennie Pratt is arrested for allegedly murdering her boyfriend, Oakland attorney Michael Porcella last night.
- This weekend two of the network news magazines did stories on gun policy: CBS's "60 Minutes" and ABC's "20/20"
- April 16: Hospital worker kills two co-workers & himself; 8- and 10-year old boys arrested for armed robbery attempt
- April 17: In Cupertino, Calif.: Couple attacked, with husband severly injured and wife killed; two fifth-graders in San Jose are suspended for a failed "stabbing-for-hire". A man is stabbed on his way to the food store and is identified a week later as Enrique Flores.
- April 24: "A man was shot and killed in East Oakland in broad daylight Friday in the city's fourth homicide in a week, police said."
- April 25: Marketing professor George Zinkhan of the University of Georgia is a suspect in an off-campus shooting.
- April 26: Children hit by gunfire in Oakland
- more?

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