Vox says that media hype about a violent crime wave in the U.S. is “bunk.” Alarming stories about rising murder rates in many American cities has been reported in the New York Times and repeated by CNN, USA Today, NPR and others. But a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice says that while murder is up moderately in some places, crime is down in 11 of 19 major U.S. cities.
In Baltimore, which has been cited repeatedly as a leading example of the crime wave, murder is on pace to increase about 50 percent this year over last. But Boston projects a 30 percent drop in murders. In New York, where the NYPD has disputed the notion of a crime wave, murders are up less than 10 percent but overall crime is down marginally. The Brennan Center data comes from 25 of the 30 most populous U.S. cities. The report calls into question the controversial idea of a “Ferguson effect”: that criminals are emboldened and police are demoralized, leading to more crime.