TIME Crime

Baltimore Murders Pass 2014 Total With Four Months Still to Go

A member of the Baltimore Police Department removes crime scene tape from a corner where a victim of a shooting was discovered in Baltimore on July 30, 2015.
Patrick Semansky—AP A member of the Baltimore Police Department removes crime scene tape from a corner where a victim of a shooting was discovered in Baltimore on July 30, 2015.

Crime rates since Freddie Gray incident echoes 1990s levels

The number of murders in Baltimore hit 212 on Thursday, overtaking the number of homicides recorded in 2014 with over a third of the year left to go.

A 28-year-old man hospitalized after being shot in the chest died Thursday. He was shot Wednesday night on the West side of Baltimore, near where another man was shot and killed the day before.

Baltimore is now experiencing almost a homicide a day, a murder rate that is reminiscent of 1990s crime levels when the city regularly saw upwards of 300 murders a year.

The city has seen a significant spike in crime since the April death of Freddie Gray in police custody. The 25-year-old’s death set off a series of protests around Baltimore, leading to a state of emergency and National Guard troops entering the city to keep the peace. Six officers were later indicted in the incident.

Following Gray’s death, arrests by Baltimore police plunged. According to the Baltimore Sun, there were 2,630 arrests per month from January to April with only 1,557 in May, the first month after Gray’s arrest and the ensuing protests. The Sun says that the number of arrests per month in 2015 is 2,381, down from 3,281 last year.

Representatives of the city’s police union along with criminal justice experts say that many Baltimore police have been hesitant to use force and arrest potential criminals after the six officers allegedly involved in Gray’s death were arrested, fearing potential legal repercussions. Criminals also may feel emboldened following this spring’s riots, in which some police held back from using force.

TIME LGBT

Why Transgender People Are Being Murdered at a Historic Rate

The number of transgender people murdered in the U.S. this year is at a historic high of 15, activists say — with over four months still to go

In the windows of some small cafes and churches around Central Brooklyn, there are little white stickers with rainbow-colored writing. These signs put up by the Audre Lorde Project say “Safe Space,” designating those buildings as places of sanctuary for LGBT people who are experiencing harassment or violence on the street.

Despite New York City’s inclusive policies for LGBT residents, the borough of Brooklyn still saw four “hate violence” incidents against them in the space of just two weeks this summer, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). People were threatened with death, they report, punched in the face, slurred at, socked with rocks.

For one particular community, these instances of violence happening around the country have higher chance of becoming fatal. On Aug. 14 the number of transgender people murdered in America this year hit a historic high of 15, according to advocacy organizations like the National Center for Transgender Equality. This somber milestone was hit when the remains of Elisha Walker, 20, were discovered in a North Carolina field several months after she went missing. Like the majority of the other victims, Elisha was not just transgender but a young transgender woman of color.

“These are all characteristics of people in the United States who are more susceptible to violence,” says the Center’s Mara Keisling, “of people who are more marginalized economically and educationally, people who end up having a bullseye on their back.”

The legal victories and increased media coverage of LGBT people in recent months has been largely positive for the community, experts like Keisling say. More people feel comfortable coming out, giving others the chance to meet and befriend someone who is transgender or gay, building the personal relationships that activists say are often the foundation for acceptance.

But the heightened visibility has also put more people at risk of being harassed or hurt. While images of Caitlyn Jenner receiving a standing ovation accepting an award in a Versace dress might seem to herald a sunny time for transgender Americans, most of them are still greatly disadvantaged socially and economically.

“Right now we’re experiencing a Dickensian time, where it’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times at once,” says transgender rights advocate Masen Davis, who formerly ran the Transgender Law Center. “We’re seeing a marked increase in the public awareness about transgender people and really incredible progress for trans rights, especially from a legal perspective. At the same time, we still represent and are part of a community that experiences incredibly high rates of unemployment, poverty and violence.”

Transgender people are four times more likely than the general population to report living in extreme poverty, making less than $10,000 per year, a standing that sometimes pushes them to enter the dangerous trade of sex work. Nearly 80% of transgender people report experiencing harassment at school when they were young. As adults, some report being physically assaulted trains and buses, in retail stores and restaurants. Greater awareness has not yet translated into broad acceptance, says Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center: “The majority of society does not understand who transgender people are in ways that lead to the violence and the murder and the harassment that we’re seeing.”

The risk is even greater for transgender women of color, who often grapple with both transphobia and racism. Sixteen of the at least 20 LGBT people murdered in 2014 were people of color, according to the NCAVP; 11 were transgender women, and 10 were transgender women of color. “People who are marginalized both because of their race and being transgender, it’s like a double whammy,” says Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

These figures likely don’t give a full picture of violence against the transgender community. Though a federal hate crimes law requires the collection of some statistics related to violence against transgender people, experts are dubious about the numbers they’re getting. “A lot of jurisdictions report zeroes, even in places where we know there are hate crimes,” Keisling says. Most state laws don’t require the collection of such statistics, according to Minter.

He says numbers are often misreported too. Incidents may not be determined to be hate crimes because there was no investigation, for instance. Crimes against transgender men like Brandon Teena—who was raped and murdered in Nebraska before his story was told in the film Boys Don’t Cry—may be recorded as crimes against women because many don’t have the money (or desire) for medical intervention.

The NCAVP, which collects the most complete figures on hate crimes against LGBT people, notes that the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated there may be 40 times more hate crimes occurring nationally than the FBI reports. Overall, the NCAVP has been receiving far fewer reports of hate violence toward the LGBT community in the last two years, down to 1,359 incidents in 2014. But they say this is a result of the collection process, not “an actual decrease of bias-based violence,” and they say their statistics do not represent exhaustive national numbers.

Minter says that the murder rate, as well as the chronic harassment many transgender people face, is best tackled through better education and more community-based programs, like those white stickers in Brooklyn windows that create networks of support among people who walk the same streets each day. Hate crime legislation is helpful in sending a message about the value of lives, he says, but it’s not going to solve the problem.

“We all have a responsibility to stop this violence,” he says, “and that means if you see a transgender person being harassed, we all have an obligation to speak up, to do something.”

TIME Crime

Homicides Are Spiking This Year After Falling for Decades

A study says homicide rates are down. But 2015 rates—especially for gun violence—are very different.

Since 1960, U.S. homicide rates have been falling—that is, until this year. Meanwhile, intimate-partner violence and child abuse affect up to 12 million and 10 million Americans, respectively, according to a survey released Tuesday in JAMA. Taken together, it paints a bleak picture for Americans’ safety, and it has violence prevention scholars trying to figure out what led to the changes—and when.

At the annual meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association on Monday, police chiefs grappled with the fact that some cities are seeing a 50% increase in murders compared with last year. Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier pointed to the nation’s capital as an example: This time last year, D.C. had 69 homicides; this year, D.C. has seen at 87 homicides. Nearby Baltimore tallied 42 homicides in May alone, with 45 in July. And in Chicago, there have been 243 homicides this year so far—a 20% spike from last year.

Until 2012, “we saw decreases for homicide and aggravated assault,” says Dr. Debra Houry, a co-author of the JAMA study who works with the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “It’s promising because it shows that violence is preventable.”

Homicide rates in 1980 stood at 10.7 per 100,000; by 2013, they’d been cut in half. Aggravated assault saw a similar halving of incidences between 1992 and 2012.

But Andrew Papachristos, a professor of sociology at Yale and a criminal justice expert who has focused much of his research on Chicago’s gang and gun violence, says that JAMA‘s findings may not offer a nuanced enough picture of what’s going on in the United States, because it looks at general trends across the country. While on average crime might have fallen until to this year, some cities, such as Chicago and Milwaukee, are still facing severe problems with violence, particularly in certain areas of the city. Indeed, within cities, “the rates of violence across neighborhoods can be exponentially higher in certain areas and almost zero in others,” he says.

Policy changes can make a difference, says Papachristos. Programs that aim to decrease unemployment, particularly among African Americans, is a critical policy adjustment, he says, since unemployment is correlated with gun violence. He also cites outdated gun laws as part of the problem.

One policy bright spot was found in a study released by the American Journal of Public Health earlier this summer, which looked at Connecticut’s permit-to-purchase handgun law as a case study. The law dates to 1994 and it requires gunowners to purchase a license prior to acquiring a handgun. The state would only allow people to buy guns if they passed a background check and gun-safety course. The result? Connecticut residents can credit the law for a 40% reduction in gun-related homicides. (Of course, in a dreary statistic that illustrates Papachristos’ point, it’s not down everywhere in the state; Hartford is experiencing a massive surge in gun violence this year.)

But even with some signs of promise, any changes to law or policy might come too late for many victims of American crime this year. Criminal justice expert Rod Wheeler told Fox that America is snowballing into the most violent summer the country has seen in decades.

“I said this back in June, that we’re going to have a long, hot, bloody summer,” he said. “And unfortunately, it’s coming to pass.”

TIME Crime

Nationwide Homicide Spike Hits Small Connecticut Capital City

Hartford has already seen as many murders as it did all of last year

The murder of a 25-year old Hartford man over the weekend was the Connecticut city’s 20th murder this year, making this year already more deadly than last year as homicide rates spike across the country.

The incident in Hartford could indicate that a crime uptick sweeping larger cities is hitting smaller ones, too. Hartford saw only 19 homicides last year, but that was a low point in the city’s crime rate in recent years. According to police statistics, there were 33 murders in all of 2009, 27 murders in 2011, and 23 murders in 2013.

“Our police department continues to work with State and Federal partners in an effort to identify these criminals before they act, without concern for life, with the goal of preventing these most violent crimes,” Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can within our means to identify potential correlations that may assist our policing efforts. Even with a commitment of significant resources and partnerships across all levels of government, our community needs to continue to come together as government cannot address this issue alone.”

The nationwide uptick has prompted police chiefs from all over the country—including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia—to gather Monday in Washington to discuss tactics for stemming the bloodshed.

In larger cities, murders are noticeably on the rise. Baltimore is seeing an unprecedented spike in shootings, especially since the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in May.

Forty-five people were killed there in July, making it Baltimore’s deadliest month since 1972, even though the city has 275,000 fewer people than it did back then. Police say 191 people have been killed in Baltimore so far in 2015, and 116 of them were killed between May and July—the highest of any three-month period in records kept since 1970, the Baltimore Sun reports. And 2015 is also the first year that has seen two months with more than 40 killings.

Washington, D.C., is also seeing a spike in violent crime, with 84 homicides so far this year, putting 2015 on track to be the most deadly year since 2008. And in Chicago, murders and shootings have gone up, even as overall crime has gone down—there were 10 more murders in July than last year. Violent crime in Los Angeles is up more than 20%, even as the homicide rate in the city drops by almost 7%, according to the Los Angeles Times.

TIME Crime

Baltimore Sees the Highest Number of Homicides in 43 Years

The city reported 45 homicides in July

(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore reached a grim milestone on Friday, three months after riots erupted in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody: With 45 homicides in July, the city has seen more bloodshed in a single month than it has in 43 years.

Police reported three deaths — two men shot Thursday and one on Friday. The men died at local hospitals.

With their deaths, this year’s homicides reached 189, far outpacing the 119 killings by July’s end in 2014. Nonfatal shootings have soared to 366, compared to 200 by the same date last year. July’s total was the worst since the city recorded 45 killings in August 1972, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The seemingly Sisyphean task of containing the city’s violence prompted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to fire her police commissioner, Anthony Batts, on July 8.

“Too many continue to die on our streets,” Rawlings-Blake said then. “Families are tired of dealing with this pain, and so am I. Recent events have placed an intense focus on our police leadership, distracting many from what needs to be our main focus: the fight against crime.”

But the killings have not abated under Interim Commissioner Kevin Davis since then.

Baltimore is not unique in its suffering; crimes are spiking in big cities around the country.

But while the city’s police are closing cases— Davis announced arrests in three recent murders several days ago — the violence is outpacing their efforts. Davis said Tuesday the “clearance rate” is at 36.6 percent, far lower than the department’s mid-40s average.

Crime experts and residents of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods cite a confluence of factors: mistrust of the police; generalized anger and hopelessness over a lack of opportunities for young black men; and competition among dealers of illegal drugs, bolstered by the looting of prescription pills from pharmacies during the riot.

Federal drug enforcement agents said gangs targeted 32 pharmacies in the city, taking roughly 300,000 doses of opiates, as the riots caused $9 million in property damage in the city.

Perched on a friend’s stoop, Sherry Moore, 55, said she knew “mostly all” of the young men killed recently in West Baltimore, including an 18-year-old fatally shot a half-block away. Moore said many more pills are on the street since the riot, making people wilder than usual.

“The ones doing the violence, the shootings, they’re eating Percocet like candy and they’re not thinking about consequences. They have no discipline, they have no respect — they think this is a game. How many can I put down on the East side? How many can I put down on the West side?”

The tally of 42 homicides in May included Gray, who died in April after his neck was broken in police custody. The July tally likewise includes a previous death — a baby whose death in June was ruled a homicide in July.

Shawn Ellerman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said May’s homicide spike was probably related to the stolen prescription drugs, a supply that is likely exhausted by now. But the drug trade is inherently violent, and turf wars tend to prompt retaliatory killings.

“You can’t attribute every murder to narcotics, but I would think a good number” of them are, he said. “You could say it’s retaliation from drug trafficking, it’s retaliation from gangs moving in from other territories. But there have been drug markets in Baltimore for years.”

Across West Baltimore, residents complain that drug addiction and crime are part of a cycle that begins with despair among children who lack educational and recreational opportunities, and extends when people can’t find work.

“We need jobs! We need jobs!” a man riding around on a bicycle shouted to anyone who’d listen after four people were shot, three of them fatally, on a street corner in July.

More community engagement, progressive policing policies and opportunities for young people in poverty could help, community activist Munir Bahar said.

“People are focusing on enforcement, not preventing violence. Police enforce a code, a law. Our job as the community is to prevent the violence, and we’ve failed,” said Bahar, who leads the annual 300 Men March against violence in West Baltimore.

“We need anti-violence organizations, we need mentorship programs, we need a long-term solution. But we also need immediate relief,” Bahar added. “When we’re in something so deep, we have to stop it before you can analyze what the root is.”

Strained relationships between police and the public also play a role, according to Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Arrests plummeted and violence soared after six officers were indicted in Gray’s death. Residents accused police of abandoning their posts for fear of facing criminal charges for making arrests, and said emboldened criminals were settling scores with little risk of being caught.

The department denied these claims, and police cars have been evident patrolling West Baltimore’s central thoroughfares recently.

But O’Donnell said the perception of lawlessness is just as powerful than the reality.

“We have a national issue where the police feel they are the Public Enemy No. 1,” he said, making some officers stand down and criminals become more brazen.

“There’s a rhythm to the streets,” he added. “And when people get away with gun violence, it has a long-term emboldening effect. And the good people in the neighborhood think, ‘Who has the upper hand?'”

TIME Crime

Homicide Rate Spikes in Major American Cities

Chicago Police Murder
Anthony Souffle—Chicago Tribune/TNS/Sipa A police officer rests his hand on his forehead at the scene where a 23-year old man was shot in the early morning hours of July 6, 2015 in Chicago.

Baltimore, Milwaukee, New Orleans and St. Louis have been especially hard-hit

After years of declining homicide rates, 2015 has been a dark year in several large American cities, with incidents as much as doubling in some areas.

Milwaukee has seen twice as many murders this year as it did in the first half of 2014, according to USA Today. Baltimore, New Orleans and St. Louis saw spikes of 33% or more, and cities like Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. have also seen increases.

It may be too soon to say whether this is a trend or an anomaly —i ndeed, several major cities have seen decreases in homicide rates, including Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego. While some experts say the numbers reflect a struggle on the part of law enforcement to fund the necessary programs to keep decreasing the homicide rate, others say the numbers may even out as the year progresses.

[USA Today]

TIME Crime

U.S. Cities See a Wave of Homicides

Violence Baltimore police
Karl Merton—Baltimore Sun/Getty Images Madison Street is blocked by police due to a barricade situation on May 20, 2015 in Baltimore.

Some cite local problems; others blame a "Ferguson effect"

For a number of cities around the country, the summer of 2015 is beginning to look like the end of the years-long decline in violent crime.

Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City, St. Louis and Washington, D.C., among others, have all seen significant increases in their murder rates through the first half of 2015.

Homicides in St. Louis, for example, are up almost 60% from last year while robberies are up 40%. In Washington, D.C., 73 people have been killed so far this year, up from 62 last year, an 18% jump. In Milwaukee, murders have doubled since last year, while in nearby Chicago homicides have jumped almost 20%.

It’s unclear what’s driving the increase across multiple cities, as some cities are dealing with localized issues that may not apply when looking at the rising crime rates elsewhere. St. Louis police say that judges have been too lenient against criminals who have had histories of illegal gun possession and prosecutors haven’t aggressively pursued murder charges.

In Milwaukee, officials say they’re dealing with lax gun laws in the state, while Chicago officials blame criminals who are buying guns in states like Wisconsin and Indiana–two states with fewer firearm restrictions–and using them in criminal acts in the city.

Criminologists warn that the recent spikes could merely be an anomaly, a sort of reversion to the mean after years of declining crime rates. But there could be something else going on, what some officials have called a “Ferguson effect,” in which criminals who are angry over police-involved shootings like that of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer in August, have felt emboldened to commit increased acts of violence.

TIME Crime

Convicted Murderers Escape New York Prison

clinton correctional facility Richard Matt David Sweat
New York State Police (L) David Sweat, (R) Richard Matt

Officials say the inmates escaped through sewer lines

A massive manhunt was underway Saturday for two convicted murders who escaped New York’s largest maximum-security prison Friday night or early Saturday morning.

David Sweat, convicted in the 2002 murder of a sheriff’s deputy, and Richard Matt, 48, convicted in the 1997 homicide of a New York businessman, were found missing from the Clinton Correctional Facility, located in Dannemora, N.Y., near the Canadian border, during a routine bed check early Saturday morning, according to Reuters and the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo inspected the prison Saturday, posting a photo on Twitter showing him retracing their escape route.

Prison officials told the Plattsburgh Press-Republican that the two men escaped through sewer lines. Officials say they found an “external breach” of the prison’s facilities that allowed the men to escape.

Authorities said that Sweat and Matt are dangerous and should not be approached.

TIME Crime

Who is Marilyn J. Mosby? A Guide to the Baltimore State’s Attorney

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability on May 1, 2015 in Baltimore.
Alex Brandon—AP Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state's attorney, speaks during a media availability in Baltimore on May 1, 2015.

The 35-year-old prosecutor announced Friday that Freddie Gray's death was being treated as a homicide

Late last year, Marilyn J. Mosby was a young insurance company attorney attempting to unseat Baltimore’s state’s attorney. Now, she’s leading the case against six Baltimore officers charged with murder, manslaughter and assault in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

On Friday, Mosby—elected Baltimore City State’s Attorney last November—announced there was probable cause to charge police with murder in the death of Gray, a black man whose spine was severed after being detained near a West Baltimore housing project on April 12. Gray died a week later.

The 35-year-old attorney now finds herself at the center of an incident that has roiled Baltimore for weeks and renewed the nation’s focus on the intersection between race and policing.

In some ways, Mosby is an unlikely prosecutor to bring charges against police officers in the Gray case. Five generations of her family were all in law enforcement, and her grandfather was one of the first African-American police officers in Massachusetts. “I know that the majority of police officers are really hard-working officers who are risking their lives day in and day out, but those really bad ones who go rogue do a disservice to the officers who are risking their lives and taking time away from their families,” she told Baltimore Magazine in January.

Mosby was raised by a single mother in Boston, where in 1994 her 17-year-old cousin was killed near her home after being mistaken for a drug dealer. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and attended Tuskegee University in Alabama, studying political science. She later attended Boston College Law School and worked as assistant state’s attorney in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office.

She was working as field counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance when she decided to run for Baltimore’s state’s attorney, campaigning on a pledge to keep repeat offenders off the street and vowing to start a diversion program that would help young drug offenders avoid getting more serious criminal records. Her surprise victory in November over Gregg Bernstein, who had served one term as the city’s state’s attorney, made her the youngest chief prosecutor in a major U.S. city.

In the run-up to Gray’s charges, Mosby had been criticized for her lack of experience having never held elected office before, as well as a potential conflict of interest regarding her husband Nick, who is a city council member representing the neighborhood where Gray was arrested. Mosby has brushed off that criticism, saying that she doesn’t answer to the city council but by the constituents who elected her.

Still, Mosby was under significant pressure to bring about charges against the officers involved in Gray’s death after a series of violent protests that forced Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to bring in thousands of National Guard troops to keep the peace.

Now that charges have been brought, she’ll face yet more scrutiny — not least from Baltimore’s police union, which accused Mosby Friday of having a conflict of interest in this case due to her “close relationship” with the Gray family attorney. According to the Baltimore Sun, Billy Murphy, the Gray family’s attorney, gave Mosby $5,000 for her campaign and was part of her transition committee.

Back in January, Mosby acknowledged the long-standing problems between residents and the police, hoping she could help bridge that trust gap between residents and police. “There are barriers of distrust within the community and law enforcement,” she told Baltimore Magazine. “And we’ve got to find ways to bring down these barriers. It’s never been more evident than now, right?”

TIME Crime

Why a Medical Examiner Called Eric Garner’s Death a ‘Homicide’

Eric Garner Police Brutality Death
Ramsey Orta

The word doesn't mean the same thing to medical examiners

New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner on July 17 when he grabbed him by the neck and, with other officers, threw him to the ground and pinned him there. But did he commit homicide? And if so, was it a crime?

Everyone from Charles Barkley to Judge Andrew Napolitano has weighed in with an opinion on the matter. The resulting confusion has the potential to take the hard, painful question of equal justice in America and make it harder and more painful.

The key to clearing up the confusion is to understand the difference between two uses of the word “homicide” and to focus not on the medical cause of Garner’s death but on Pantaleo’s behavior.

On Aug. 1, a New York City medical examiner determined that the cause of death in the Garner case was “homicide,” specifically the neck compressions from the Pantaleo’s chokehold and “the compression of [Garner’s] chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police,” according to spokeswoman, Julie Bolcer.

But “homicide” in this context doesn’t mean what you think. It’s one of five categories medical examiners use to label causes of death and it indicates that “someone’s intentional actions led to the death of another person,” says Gregory G. Davis, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. The other four labels are suicide, accident, natural, and undetermined, Davis says.

So in a medical examiner’s report “homicide” just means one person intentionally did something that led to the death of someone else. It doesn’t mean the death was intentional and it doesn’t mean it was a crime.

Criminally negligent homicide, on the other hand, is a class E felony in New York State. Someone who commits it can go to jail for around one to four years. A lot of things are class E felonies in New York State, like arson, computer trespass, auto stripping and residential mortgage fraud.

Was Pantaleo criminally negligent in killing Garner? He was, according to New York State law, if he failed “to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk” that Garner would die from his actions, and that failure was “a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”

Nobody should dispute that Pantaleo committed homicide—that fact was determined Aug. 1. Was Pantaleo’s behavior a gross deviation from the standard of care that a police officer should take when confronting an unarmed father of six whom he suspects may have been selling cigarettes illegally? Napolitano and many others who have watched the video of Garner’s killing think Pantaleo’s behavior was criminally negligent. The Staten Island grand jury apparently did not.

As to the confusion about the different uses of “homicide,” why don’t medical examiners try using a different word to indicate someone has killed someone else so that it doesn’t get mistaken for a legal judgment?

“There are only so many words that we have,” says the National Association of Medical Examiner’s Davis.

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