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Nebraska's homicide rate among African-Americans was the fourth-highest in the country in 2014, a continued trend in a state where blacks comprise a small portion of the population, a study released this week found.

Twenty-six black people were killed that year, the study by the Violence Policy Center found.

The Washington, D.C.-based gun-control research group analyzed supplemental FBI homicide data from the most recent year available.

Nebraska's black population was more than 88,000 in 2015, according to U.S. Census data.

In 2014, the homicide rate among blacks here was 28.17 killings per 100,000 people, according to the study.

That rate is nearly double the national black homicide rate and almost seven times the nation's overall homicide rate, the center found.

“Each year this report reveals the devastating and disproportionate impact homicide, almost always involving a gun, has on black men, boys, women, and girls in America,” said the center's executive director, Josh Sugarmann.

“These deaths devastate families and traumatize whole communities. We hope our research will not only help educate the public and policymakers, but aid community leaders already working to end this grave injustice.”

Nebraska led the country in 2011 with the highest black homicide rate at more than 34 killings per 100,000 people.

Missouri led the country in 2014 with a black homicide rate of 34.98 killings per 100,000 people. Indiana and New Mexico eclipsed Nebraska, with Pennsylvania rounding out the top five.

The rates of Nebraska's other neighbors ranked considerably lower, with Iowa 26th, Kansas 16th, Colorado 39th, South Dakota 44th and Wyoming 36th.

Twenty of the 26 black murder victims in Nebraska in 2014 were killed with guns, and most were men.

The average age of the victims was 30, but five were younger than 18, the study found.

In 2014, four of the seven people murdered in Lincoln were black, according to Journal Star records. All four were men.

The study was funded by the Joyce Foundation, The David Bohnett Foundation, which works to prevent gun violence, and The Herb Block Foundation.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

Reporter

Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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