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The State

November 21, 1986

More people were murdered in California during 1985 than in 1984, but the rate dropped because the population increased, Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp said. "The numbers are still entirely too high," he said in a statement, "but the rate has dropped slightly." The annual report said there were 2,781 homicides in 1985, compared to 2,724 in 1984. But because the state's population increased, the rate of homicides dropped from 10.6 per 100,000 people to 10.5 per 100,000. Van de Kamp noted that the statistics show that men are more likely to be murdered; blacks are more than twice as likely as Latinos and six times as likely as whites to be murdered, and people between ages 25 and 39 run twice the risk. In 1985, 76.3% of the victims were male, 35.2% white, 31.5% Latino, 27.9% black and 5.4% from other ethnic groups. Guns were used in 56.3% of the murders.

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