Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia promised to show “unprecedented levels of violence in Chicago” during a news conference attacking Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s record on crime, but instead used a narrow set of statistics that dates back only four years, reports the Chicago Tribune. Garcia noted the number of city shootings was up 15 percent this year as of last week. There were 2,506 shooting victims compared with 2,185 last year. “That is what people in Chicago fear. That is the unknown. That is what keeps people young and old as prisoners in their own homes,” said Garcia, a Cook County commissioner. Garcia didn’t mention that overall crime in Chicago is down this year and the number of homicides is on pace to be the lowest in decades. Garcia sought to focus on the number of shootings, not deaths.
“It may say the officers are doing their best in the field, but it may also say that we have advanced in innovations in medical care and in trauma treatment,” Garcia said of the lower number of homicides. “I think those people who work on the front lines, our public health workers, are also responsible for saving more lives, thus reducing the number of fatalities. But clearly, the number of shootings that have occurred over a four year period, in excess of 10,000 shootings, are what people all over Chicagoland are concerned about.” Garcia did not note that shootings overall are actually down about 9 percent since 2011, the year Emanuel took office, and down 18 percent from a spike in violent crime the city saw in 2012.