BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Despite several high-profile murders this year in Birmingham, the city’s homicide numbers are down over last year.
“Right now in the city of Birmingham, we have a roughly 14-16% reduction in overall violent crime," says Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams.
That includes homicides, robberies, assaults, and rapes. 2019 saw 91 homicides. In 2018, there were 101, and in 2017 there were 99.
But it was one homicide last year that left a huge hole in the community; the death of three-year-old Kamille Cupcake McKinney. Neighbors tied purple ribbons around every tree in the neighborhood where she went missing. And more than an entire community attended her funeral.
“I saw this city go from city of Birmingham to the city of Cupcake and watched the state turn from the state of Alabama to the state of Cupcake,” says Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith.
Another was the equally tragic death of Birmingham Police SGT. Wytasha Carter, who was shot and killed while trying to protect this city.
“The city has been awesome in the outpouring of support, not just the city but all over the world,” says Tiphanie Carter.
These murders may seem random,but officials say most are not--which is what makes them so difficult to prevent.
“When you look at it, it’s very hard to address because you can’t have a police officer in everyone’s homes. A lot of the crimes, for the most part, knows who their attacker is, whether it’s a transactional relationship because they are buying narcotics or something else from them, or it’s a domestic relationship where they have a familial or other relationship," says Williams.