July 2012 will go down in Camden, New Jersey’s history as the city’s deadliest since September 1949. Thirteen people were killed and most of the deaths were connected with the area’s drug trade and apparent infighting between rival sets of the notorious street gang, the Bloods.
“We have more than just one Bloods faction in our city,” said Camden’s Police Chief, Scott Thomson in an article on Philly.com. “We have more than one open-air drug market. So the potential [for a turf battle] is there in these other markets as well.”
So far this year, from January through July, the number of homicides has “spiked more than 80 percent.” But it’s not just the murder rates that have risen. The percentage of shootings in Camden has gone up, too. There have been 103 shootings so far this year, resulting in 39 homicides, about 16 percent more than in previous years.
At this rate, Camden is set to “exceed last year’s total of 49 homicides” and possibly even break its own standing 1995 record of 58 murders.
For more on Camden’s rising numbers of gang-related murders, visit Philly.com for the full story.