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“Death by a Thousand Moves” (12/4) on the D.C. Homicide Branch, by Jason Cherkis, brings to mind a little-known fact by which to measure the impact of homicides on the African-American community in this city.

Over the last 12 years, there have been 4,390 homicides in D.C., a murder epidemic sparked by the arrival of crack cocaine in 1986. Nearly 90 percent of the victims were young African-American men killed by other young black men.

A total of 4,000 black U.S. Army personnel were killed in the Vietnam War, from 1961 to 1972, according to the Brookings Institution study Blacks and the Military by Martin Binkins et al. African-Americans represented 13 percent of U.S. Army combat deaths in Vietnam.

Capitol Hill