There's no mistaking that James "Jimmy" McNulty would lie about anything to get police work done, even if it meant being insubordinate and risking government money. And while "The Wire" was an immense show for entertainment and there was no serial killer with red ribbons, the subject of violence against homeless people shouldn't be overlooked.
The most recent case of homeless murders that got attention was the California arrest and death of 25-year-old Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo in November of last year. According to the Daily Beast, Ocampo stated that four homeless men were killed because "they were available and vulnerable" and "a blight to the community."
However, he died in his cell before the results of the death penalty case were decided in January of this year.
Even children have been involved in homeless violence. In the UK, three teenagers (Connor Doran, 17, his brother Brandon Doran, 14, and their friend Simon Evans, also 14) beat a homeless man named Kevin Bennett to death as he slept outside of a supermarket in Liverpool. According to Sky News, the teens will serve anywhere from six to 12 years in prison.
But these are just two cases among many. While attention is regularly brought to finding warm shelter in various states for the homeless during freezing cold months (especially this past brutal winter), the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has documented 1,328 acts of violence against homeless individuals by perpetrators who consider them easy targets.
In 2012, 88 of the attacks resulted in 18 deaths, according to NCH. In NCH's study, "A Survey of Hate Crimes/Violence against the Homeless in 2012," the homeless victims were usually (96 percent) men over 40, and the attackers were primarily (81 percent) young men under 30.
From 1999 to 2012, the hate crime stats (including nonlethal attacks and deaths) were the lowest in 2004 with a total of 35 and skyrocketed to the highest numbers in 2009 (coincidentally after season 5 of "The Wire" aired on HBO) with a total of 160.
Florida had the highest hate crime stats for homeless people while other states, including Maryland, reported no hate crimes from homeless people at all. Other states with no hate crimes in 2012 were Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wyoming.
However, the less violent rate decreased when looking at stats from 1999 to 2012. States with no hate crimes during these years were only Idaho, North Dakota and Vermont.
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