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New York City’s Murder Rate Drops

Mon., July 31, 1995, midnight

Suddenly, New York City isn’t living up to its reputation as a mecca for murder.

From the South Bronx to Times Square to Coney Island, bloodshed is ebbing. About 400 fewer people will be murdered in this city of 7.3 million this year if current trends continue.

Murder rates in many big cities, including New York, declined by more than 10 percent last year. But New York’s projected year-end total of 1,170 slayings would mark a 48 percent drop since a record 2,245 murders in 1990 - a steeper, steadier decline than in any other major U.S. city.

One clear factor: use of racketeering laws to break up drug gangs which had driven up the murder rate in some neighborhoods. But beyond that, the trend defies easy explanation.

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