By Lev D. Zilbermints
NEWARK - Two environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the City of Newark, its officials and the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), alleging that the tap water in Newark is unsafe to drink due to high concentration of lead.
The lawsuit names the City of Newark; Newark Department of Water and Sewer Utilities; its Director, Andrea Hall Adebowale; Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; and Catherine McCabe, the Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as defendants. Plaintiffs allege that the City of Newark, its officials and the NJDEP Commissioner have violated the Safe Drinking Water Act, a federal law that protects the public from harmful contamination in their drinking water.
The two environmental groups filing the lawsuit are the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Inc., and the Newark Education Workers Caucus (NEW Caucus). NRDC, based in New York, was founded in 1970. It has more than 12,000 members who reside in New Jersey. Of these, 30 - plus are Newark residents. According to court documents, NRDC is an international, non-profit environmental organization. It engages in research, advocacy and litigation to protect public health and reduce the exposure of all communities to toxic substances.
Newark Education Workers Caucus (NEW Caucus), according to court documents, is an association of educators who teach in Newark public schools. Some members of NEW Caucus live in Newark. The mission of NEW Caucus, according to the lawsuit, is to unify Newark educators in support of social justice initiatives in Newark, both for educators as well as for their students and students' families.
At a press conference held at Paradise Baptist Church on June 26, both NEW Caucus and NRDC presented their case to the media and the public. Speakers noted that Newark failed to comply with Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests regarding water contamination. Court records show that on April 24, 2018, NRDC and NEW Caucus served Newark a 60-day notice of intent to sue the city and the State of New Jersey for violating the Safe Drinking Water Act. At the same time, the city was sued in court for failing to comply with the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.
On June 22, 2018, the Superior Court of New Jersey in Newark ruled that Newark had violated OPRA by failing to comply with OPRA's statutory timelines and other provisions. The court ordered Newark and its city clerk, Kenneth Louis, to release records requested by the NRDC within 20 days, and to pay attorneys' fees and litigation costs.
Dangerous levels of contamination - Effects of lead on children and adults
According to the NRDC fact sheet, 10 percent of water samples collected by the city in 2017 showed lead levels above 26 parts per billion. Court papers state that the "lead action level", or critical point, is 15 parts per billion. Federal law states that the water system has to take additional steps to protect its customers against lead exposure.
The fact sheet goes on to say that "about 20 percent of the city's samples showed lead levels above the 15 parts per billion level - with some samples coming in at three, even nine times higher."
According to the NRDC, "Newark has had the greatest number of lead-poisoned children in New Jersey for years." Lead exposure has serious and irreversible health impacts such as fertility problems, nervous system damage, cognitive dysfunction, and other problems. The lawsuit states that poorer academic performance, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, developmental delays are effects of lead on young children. Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable, NRDC said in its fact sheet. In adults, exposure to lead can cause nerve disorders, decreased kidney function, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal damage, muscle and joint pain, memory and concentration problems and high blood pressure.
NRDC urges residents to get their water tested by calling 973-733-6303 or emailing email@example.com.
Al Moussab, president of NEW Caucus, told Local Talk, "I think that the city administration needs to do more to ensure that residents have safe drinking water. One of the claims in the lawsuit is how they are sampling the water."
During the June 26 press conference held at Paradise Baptist Church in Newark, Moussab told the assembled press and public that his organization joined the lawsuit in order to force the city to provide lead free water to its residents.
"Access to safe water should be a basic right for everyone. However, for many working class people it is not. By joining this lawsuit, we hope to hold the city and state governments accountable for providing safe drinking water to every home and school in Newark,” Moussab said.
Chris Canik, a teacher at Central High School, said that boiling water does not remove lead. Instead, lead becomes more concentrated after boiling. The only way to remove lead is "specific filters that remove lead. Not all (Newark residents) can afford filters,” Canik said.
According to Canik, Central High School has filters installed at water sources.
Non-Compliance with Federal Law
According to the lawsuit filed by NRDC and NEW Caucus, in 2017-2018 the NJDEP issued two notices of non-compliance to Newark under the Lead and Copper Rule. Court records show that between July and December 2017, Newark again exceeded the 15 parts per billion federal action level for lead in drinking water. Since Jan. 1, 2018, over 10 percent of samples taken have exceeded the 15 parts per billion, and a sample from one Newark residence contained levels as high as 182 parts per billion, court papers stated.
The lawsuit states that "over the course of the last three six-month monitoring periods, Newark has obscured the severity of its lead problem by filling its 100-sample quota with sites that are less likely to show elevated lead levels. This ongoing dilution of sampling results with lower priority sites that are less likely to have elevated lead levels suggests that the City has routinely underestimated its lead levels and will continue to do so in the future."
In 2017, Newark had 131 Tier I polling sites within its sampling pool, court records show. Of these, samples were collected from only 40 sites. And during the second six-month monitoring period of 2017, Newark collected samples from 88 Tier I sites.
A map presented at the press conference showed that large parts of East and Central Ward in Newark had no sampling done. West Ward had the most problems with drinking water.
Newark Submits A Rebuttal of Statements in the Lawsuit
Andrea Adebowale, Newark Director of Water and Sewer Utilities, issued the following statement to the public and the press on June 26:
“The lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council is based on the premise that Newark residents are exposed to dangerous levels of lead in the City’s drinking water. That charge is absolutely and outrageously false. The truth is that the water supplied by the city is pure, safe and fully complies with federal and state regulations. The NRDC has seriously mischaracterized the facts.
“They cite the high levels of lead found in the water in Newark schools. It has been incontrovertibly established that the lead in the schools’ water was introduced by pipes and fixtures within the schools and that there was no lead contamination introduced by water from the City’s mains. I am baffled as to why the NRDC makes the innuendo that the Newark water system was responsible for the problem in the schools.
“The City’s water is not contaminated with lead. The NRDC makes a false comparison with Flint, Michigan. Although the City received a violation for Lead Level Exceedance, we have been compliant with state and federal rules regarding dealing with such violations and have met all the required milestones. The City has sent out public notification and public education materials and will continue to do so.
“In Newark, the City owns the water mains, but doesn’t own the service lines that connect the water supply to homes. Any lead in the drinking water stems from the privately owned lead service lines, not the water we deliver. The service lines are the responsibility of homeowners. The City has obtained funding from the State and is already implementing a plan to help property owners replace all of the approximately 15,000 lead service lines in the city at an estimated cost of $60 million.
“Our sampling revealed that the water in some homes with lead service lines exceeded the action level. This is the result of the fact that some homes built before 1986 may contain lead service lines. The average for water samples taken from January to June of last year from these homes was 27 parts per billion.
“The City has launched the Lead Service Line Replacement Program. It is a 10-phase program with the first phase already in operation. In May, 3000 residents received letters asking if they want to participate in Phase One of the program. There is a nominal cost to the homeowner, 10% of replacement costs up to a maximum of $1,000. Additionally, the City is conducting a corrosion study and continued sampling.
“The City received several OPRA requests from NRDC, beginning in early Fall of 2017. They allege that the City and State are not complying. However, we were able to provide most of the information. Any information that we were unable to provide was never in our possession.
“Contrary to the allegations of the NRDC, Newark has conducted a corrosion control study in 1994 and consequently implemented a corrosion control program to minimize the leaching of lead from service lines. We sell water from our system to other municipalities, including Pequannock Township, Bloomfield, Nutley, Belleville, Elizabeth, and Wayne. If our source water was contaminated, we would not be allowed to sell our water to them.
“Unfortunately, when City took over operation of its Water Treatment Plant in June 2013 from the bankrupt Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation, very few records were turned over to us. Some of the information requested by NRDC about corrosion control was maintained by the previous operators and was not given to the City when we took over. NRDC has requested reports that we simply do not have. We advised them that at the time that we did not have the information. All information in our possession has either already been provided to NRDC or has been made available for review and inspection at City Hall, yet they sue us for documents that we simply do not have and have been unable to obtain.
Contrary to the allegations of the NRDC, the City has conducted an extensive public information campaign to inform residents of the lead service line problem. We have sent mailings to property owners, held public meetings, broadcast public information announcements on our municipal cable channel, held telephone and Facebook live town halls, issued news releases, published and distributed brochures and created a website devoted to this issue. This is a continuing effort to inform property owners and residents.
“The Bottom line: Our water is safe. It is our goal to be transparent and keep our residents informed every step of the way. Again, we reiterate that Newark’s water meets all federal and state standards and that this issue is confined to a limited number of homes with lead service lines. We have completed an inventory of lead service lines and are providing free lead testing for any homeowner who suspects that their service line might be made of lead.”
Contact the City of Newark for more information on Newark lead service lines and how to replace them.
A man who was at the forefront of churches in New York, Washington, and even in Newark, was kicked out after allegations of assaulting a teenager.
On June 20, a report alleging abuse from almost 45 years ago surfaced against retired Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York. According to the NY Archdiocese, it was the first such report of a violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People ever made against him of which the archdiocese was aware. Upon the discovery, McCarrick was removed from his position.
“Carefully following the process detailed by the Charter of the American bishops, this allegation was turned over to law enforcement officials, and was then thoroughly investigated by an independent forensic agency,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in a statement.
“Cardinal McCarrick was advised of the charge, and, while maintaining his innocence, fully cooperated in the investigation. The Holy See was alerted as well, and encouraged us to continue the process.
“Again according to our public protocol, the results of the investigation were then given to the Archdiocesan Review Board, a seasoned group of professionals including jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest, and a religious sister.
“The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated.
“The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry.
“Cardinal McCarrick, while maintaining his innocence, has accepted the decision.
“This archdiocese, while saddened and shocked, asks prayers for all involved, and renews its apology to all victims abused by priests. We also thank the victim for courage in coming forward and participating in our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, as we hope this can bring a sense of resolution and fairness.”
Meanwhile, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, released this statement: “I recognize that the people of our Archdiocese meet the announcement by the Archdiocese of New York of a credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor by Cardinal McCarrick with a range of emotions. I am thinking particularly of those who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy - whose lives have been impacted tragically by abuse. To those survivors, their families and loved ones, I offer my sincere apologies and my commitment of prayer and action to support you in your healing.
“The Archdiocese of Newark has never received an accusation that Cardinal McCarrick abused a minor. In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults. This Archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements.
“Cardinal McCarrick served this Archdiocese for almost fifteen years. No doubt many of you developed strong relationships with him and appreciate the impact of his service. Those feelings are likely hard to reconcile with the news of a credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor. While Cardinal McCarrick maintains his innocence and the canonical process continues, we must put first the serious nature of this matter with respect and support for the process aimed at hearing victims and finding truth.
“The abuse crisis in our Church has been devastating. We cannot undo the actions of the past, but we must continue to act with vigilance today. I renew my commitment to seek forgiveness and healing, while ensuring a safe environment for children in this Archdiocese. I will continue to report immediately to civil authorities any accusation of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy and will cooperate fully in the investigation and adjudication. I continue to urge anyone who was abused by clergy to come forward, as brave survivors before you have done. To the priests, religious and all other members of this community, I join you in continued prayer that God carry us together in his love with commitment to our faith and each other.”
“I was very saddened to be advised by the Archbishop of New York that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick - who served as the Bishop of Metuchen from 1982 to 1986 - is alleged to have sexually abused a minor forty-seven years ago when he was a priest in the Archdiocese of New York,” said Most Reverend James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen in a statement. “I have also been advised that Cardinal McCarrick himself has disputed this allegation and is appealing this matter through the canonical process.
“This very disturbing report has prompted me to direct that the records of our Diocese be re-examined, and I can report to you that there has never been any report or allegation that Cardinal McCarrick ever abused any minor during his time here in Metuchen.
“The abuse of anyone who is vulnerable is both shameful and horrific. The abuse of a minor by a priest - as is being reported in this case from New York - is an abomination and sickens and saddens us all.
“The work of building the Kingdom of God in this diocese is much more than its bishops, and I thank you for all of your help here in the Diocese of Metuchen in supporting our common mission. In particular, I am grateful for the substantial work of our training programs, background checks and zero-tolerance policies which are carefully designed both to protect those entrusted to our care and to prevent harm to our children in the future.
“I offer my sincere apologies to anyone who has ever been victimized, and I ask anyone who has been abused by any clergy to report it directly to law enforcement. I want all victims to know that they are always in my prayers, and I ask everyone in the Diocese to join with me in praying that the Lord will bring them courage, healing and consolation.”
By Dhiren Shah
On June 4, 2018 a ribbon cutting opened the state of the art Essex County Donald M. Payne Sr. School of Technology for students. It is not a regular public school, but a technology school.
As we all know, some students may not bright as we see in exams, but they might be gifted for technology. They may not be successful at a regular high school, but they might still be successful in the practical world. One might be an expert auto mechanic, and another might be an expert at computer technology. If they have trouble passing the test in high school, an alternative school is the way to go.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo always wants to improve the tech schools. We have heard many times about new public schools being built. It is easy to convince the federal and state government partners to build public schools, but it is harder to convince them to build a technology school. Joe D. convinced former governor Chris Christie and got the funds to build a brand-new Donald Payne Sr. School of Technology, replacing the United Hospital property which was closed for years.
In March 2016, they had the ground breaking and in just over two years, the school is complete and will be operating in September. Their 1,200 students will be from Essex County.
The school is named after late Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. (1934-2012) who was the first African American to hold that position in New Jersey. He served 23 years in Congress. His legacy as a peacemaker, advocate for human rights and passion for helping young people will be remembered for decades to come.
Donald M. Payne, Sr. was first elected to Congress in 1988. Since then, he was reelected eight times, receiving more than 75% of the vote. Many dignitaries came to his funeral, including President Bill Clinton in February 2012. He is also known for his work not only in Essex County or New Jersey, but throughout the world and especially in Africa.
US Senator Robert Menendez said, “Donald Payne was the lion of the United States Congress.” The school’s athletic teams will be known as the Payne Tech Lions.
Former Governor Chris Christie said, “Joe D. asked for a meeting, but he did not tell me what the meeting was about. They came down and I knew I am in trouble. They walked in with poster boards.”
He added that it was Joe’s vision. He wanted to build a technology school in place of United Hospital. He also praised Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver and said that when she was speaker of the house, it could not have been done without the three of them (himself, Sheila Oliver, and Joseph DiVincenzo).
Joseph DiVincenzo praised Reverend Mamie Lee for her support and being a partner for past 16 years. Rev. Lee is 94 years old.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver praised Governor Christie and County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. She said that Christie supported construction of the vocational school like any other public school.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, County Sherriff Armando Fontoura, Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, Newark West Ward Councilman Joseph McCallum, Freeholder President Brendon Gill, State Senator Teresa Ruiz, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., Assemblyman William Payne, State Senate President Stephan Sweeney, State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Rev. Mamie Lee and many other dignitaries were present to support a great movement towards education, which is what Congressman Donald M. Payne Sr. fought for in his life.
By AAHPO Committee
NEWARK - The AAHPO committee is committed and dedicated to making sure the Heritage Parade and Festival continues to happen and get better and better each year. It is important we all understand our history, heritage and culture as a people.
It is important we see role models who have succeeded in their chosen fields, so our children will know anything is achievable with hard work. This is true of all cultures.
We should celebrate who we are in a prideful way. The 2018 Parade and Festival like last year started Friday night with a hip-hop dance party. The evening also included a variety of food vendors including Caribbean cuisine. Included in the festival was a spectacular carnival. The activities continued throughout the weekend to the evening of Memorial Day. The live entertainment on Saturday was R&B, jazz and house party. Sunday was gospel/inspirational. Monday was Caribbean world music. The entertainment was provided to the community at no cost. Saturday evening ended with a spectacular firework show.
The AAHPO Committee coordinates a Kids’ Zone during the weekend featuring fun games and activities at no cost. AAHPO partners with ShopRite to provide lunch and snacks for the children throughout the weekend. Water and juices are provided by Cream-O-Land and Pepsi.
It is important to our committee families who come to the park with limited resources can still enjoy the festival. We want our children to have some place to go during this holiday weekend. It should be noted the AAHPO committee of volunteers are committed to highlighting the mission of culture, heritage and education in the community.
As stated in our promotions, rain or shine, the heritage parade was going to happen. On Sunday, the AAHPO committee, Grand Marshall Michellene Davis, Mayor Ras Baraka, Senator Bob Menendez, Councilwoman Mildred Crump, Senator Teresa Ruiz, Councilman Anibal Ramos, Councilman Joe McCallum, Councilman Luis Quintana and other dignitaries braved the cool, damp and rainy day.
Thereafter, the contingents followed. Although some spectators were discouraged by the wet day, the 51st African Heritage Parade was upbeat and full of culture, pride and talent. It marks another great day in the City of Newark moving forward.
A great deal of work goes into putting on a weekend long festival that includes a parade. There are many partners involved with AAHPO. Mayor Baraka and his team assigned to the parade as well as other departments in the City. We work closely with the Newark African & Caribbean Commissions. Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Sheriff's Department make sure the community is able to enjoy beautiful Weequahic Park.
Michelle Morgan-Truvillion and Tiffany Harris work very closely with the AAHPO Board to make sure everything runs smoothly. Mr. Shah, Editor-in-Chief from Local Talk News, is a major sponsor and advisor on print and advertising. The sponsors and volunteers are key to making the weekend happen. RWJ Barnabas was a major partner in this year’s festivities. AAHPO continues its efforts to be a positive influence in the community. Our community service goes beyond Memorial Day weekend. We bring culture and education to schools and throughout the community in a variety of venues. We also recognize giving to those who have the least is necessary.
We would also like to extend a special thanks to our 2018 Grand Marshall Michellene Davis and the St. Barnabas organization. Ms. Davis is the first woman and first person of color to serve as an Executive Vice President at RWJBarnabas Health. We continue to seek support from sponsors and individuals.
The parade and festival were no less than a blessing. AAHPO will continue its mission. For more info, please visit www.aaparades.org.
NEWARK - The former executive director of a Newark-based childcare and community program and a partner in a political fundraising and consulting company was sentenced April 18 to 38 months in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Kiburi D. Tucker, 43, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and four counts of tax evasion. Judge Linares imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: As the executive director of The Centre Inc., Tucker embezzled its funds through ATM, debit card and bank withdrawal transactions to fund personal expenditures, including gambling, travel, and furnishing his home. Tucker defrauded The Centre of $332,116 from 2012 through 2015.
In addition, Tucker, who was also receiving an annual salary from his employment at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, filed false personal income tax returns in which he intentionally under-reported both the proceeds that he embezzled from The Centre and income from his partnership in Elite Strategies, a political fundraising and consulting company. Tucker admitted that he was responsible for under-reporting $177,040 in income from these sources for the 2015 tax year, resulting in a tax loss of $56,509.
Elite Strategies organized a $1,000-a-seat mayoral gala fundraiser in 2016 for Team Baraka, and had also issued emails on the mayor’s behalf. The firm received over $60,000 in consulting fees from Baraka's campaign committee, according to the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
From July 2015 to April 2017, Baraka’s campaign paid at least $64,400 to Elite Strategies. In Oct. 2017, Baraka’s campaign was hit with a complaint from the ELEC over its campaign finances.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Tucker to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $133,624 to the IRS and forfeit $334,116.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen in Newark; IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacques S. Pierre and Jihee G. Suh of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
By Lev D. Zilbermints
NEWARK - An investigation done by “Local Talk” staff showed that contrary to what Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and other officials said, crime in Newark is not the lowest in fifty years.
According to a March 13 press release from the Newark Department of Public Safety press release, Mayor Ras Baraka said, “We have reduced crime in Newark to the lowest level in 50 years using several strategies…”
Facts, however, state otherwise.
In 1968, according Newark Statistics supplied by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the city had 109 murders and 252 rapes. The population of Newark in 1968 was 392,537 people.
Murder rates went up in 2016, the last year for which data is available. In 2015, there were 107 murders and 107 rapes in Newark. During 2014, there were 93 murders in Newark, a decrease from 112 in 2013. The 100 murders in 2016 are one less than 101 in 1969 and nine less than the 109 in 1968. The numbers do not support Mayor Baraka’s claim that crime has been reduced to the lowest level in 50 years.
Rapes increased from 49 in 2014 to 107 in 2015, then fell to 99 in 2016. The increase was from 17.6 to 35.2 rapes per 100,000 people, city-data.com reported. The website www.neighborhoodscout.com reported that property crime in Newark was 23.82 per 1,000 residents, as compared to 15.45 per 1,000 for New Jersey. Violent crime rate per 1,000 residents in Newark was 0.35 for murder, 0.37 for rape, 4.83 for robbery, 3.99 for assault.
In 2016, Newark had 103 rapes, 1,362 robberies, 1,125 assaults. There were 1,162 burglaries; 3,418 thefts; 2,132 motor vehicle thefts. Violent crime rate was 9.55 per 1000 residents in Newark compared to 2.45 per 1000 for New Jersey. Crime had a major impact on Newark demographics over the decades.
Research of Newark demographics shows that at one time, in the early 1900s, the city was over 97% white. By the time of the 2016 census, the number of white residents in Newark fell to slightly over 26%. The main reason for the decrease was white flight to the suburbs and racial tensions.
According to the federal census, in 1930, Newark had 442,000 residents. White flight, which occurred after the 1967 riots, contributed to the demographic decline. The number of residents fell from 393,926 in 1967 to 281,764 in 2016. According to U.S. census records, Newark steadily lost residents almost every decade from 1940 to 2000. The only exception was the 1950 census. At that time, Newark had 438,776 residents.
Data shows that between 1973-1974, almost 10,000 residents left Newark. At that time, there were 163 murders and 329 rapes in 1973. During 1974, according to data supplied by the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, there were 130 murders and 290 rapes.
The murder statistics fluctuated between 107 in 1975 and 161 in 1981. Rapes increased from 159 in 1975 to a high of 598 in 1981. During these years, the population of Newark fell from 372,663 in 1975 to 332,746 in 1981.
Rapes were a major problem throughout the 1980s. The numbers show 598 rapes in 1981; 489 in 1982; 553 in 1983; 589 in 1984; 594 in 1985; 589 in in 1986; 577 in 1987; 522 in 1988. The decrease came in 1989, with 107 murders and 376 rapes. From that point on, while murders ranged between 112 in 1990 and 57 in 1997, the number of rapes steadily decreased. In 1990, there were 326 rapes, in 1999, 103 rapes.
The 2000s saw murder and rape reduced to the double digits. In 2000, there were 58 murders and 95 rapes. By 2009, there were 60 murders and 68 rapes.
Murders and rapes increased slightly in 2010-2016. The years 2010-2016 saw 90, 94, 96, 112, 94, 107 and 100 murders, in that order. Rape numbers for the same period are 79, 58, 55, 45, 49, 107, 99 in that order.
Between 2010-2016, Newark has slowly grown, albeit at the rate of less than one percentage point per year. Population increased from 273,546 in 2000 to 281,764 in 2016. African Americans make up 48.7% of the population. Hispanics alone make up 34.4% of the population. Non-Hispanic whites make up 13% of the population.
Based on city-data.com crime index, the numbers show an increase in murder, rape, arson and assaults. There is a decrease in robberies, burglaries, thefts, and auto thefts, other violent crime categories.
In 1985, there were 3,705 aggravated assaults. This number rose to 4.573 by 1995. By 2005, the number of aggravated assaults dropped to 1,391. Since 2006, the number decreased from 1,359 to 944 in 2104. In 2015, there were 1,130 aggravated assaults; in 2016, 1,104.
Newark’s crime index was 673.6 per 100,000 residents in 2002. It steadily declined every year until 2010, when the crime index increased to 541.3 from 491.1 the year before. The current crime index is 451.8 per 100,000 residents. By comparison, the crime index in 2014 was 522.2.
According to city-data.com, the higher the index, the more crime. BY comparison, the U.S. average is 283.7 crimes per 100,000 people. Newark’s crime index is about 1.5 times higher the national average.
If any year could be said to have less crime than 1968, it would have to be 2000. In that year, there were 58 murders and 95 rapes. By comparison, 1968 saw 109 murders and 252 rapes. Moreover, murder in 2000 went down. In 1999, there were 69 murders and 103 rapes.
So, overall violent crime in 2016 is lower than 2015, murders were up about 14% and rapes were about 118%, but in 2016 murders were down after a spike in 2015 down by 7%, and rapes down by 7.5% compared to 2016.