Milwaukee Alderman Call Newspaper’s Crime-Statistics Reporting Unfair


While acknowledging that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel raised an important public issue, nine Milwaukee aldermen issued a statement that said the newspaper’s investigation into the city’s flawed crime numbers was misleading and unfair. The Journal Sentinel says the officials made their comments after an appearance by Police Chief Edward Flynn before a committee, in which Flynn told aldermen an internal review found more than 5,300 underreported serious assaults since 2006 – but that the violent crime rate still fell 25 percent under his watch.

The aldermen said the Journal Sentinel had said it was “likely the miscodings were done on purpose to fool the public regarding the effectiveness of the chief’s reforms.” Journal Sentinel Editor Martin Kaiser said such a claim was never made in any of the stories and noted that no one has cited any inaccuracies or errors in the investigation. “We think the public can be trusted with accurate information on a problem the department itself has acknowledged is serious and long-running,” Kaiser said. “We stand by our reporting, and we will continue to report about this issue to the best of our ability.”

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