Newly released 2016 crime statistics from a handful of U.S. cities show the peril of President Trump’s tendency to cherry-pick crime rates that seem to substantiate his dystopian view. In San Diego, for example, officials announced Tuesday that crime there essentially is at a 50-year low. Police in Rocky Mount, N.C., reported that overall crime declined in 2016 for the fifth consecutive year and is at its lowest point since 1977. And crime reports in Lowell, Mass., declined 10 percent, continuing a five-year trend. “This is outstanding,” said a city councilor there. In Battle Creek, Mich., Police Chief Jim Blocker called a similar decline there as “a national trend.”
That is not the view from the White House. In his inauguration speech, Trump referred to crime in the country as “American carnage.” And his newly appointed attorney general, Jeff Sessions, declared that a crime increase seen in some cities is indicative of “a dangerous permanent trend.” Law enforcement professionals suggest that is an irrational point of view on crime and are working to educate the Trump Administration. NPR reports that a group of current and retired police chiefs hope to convince Trump to stop his knee-jerk reaction to crime anecdotes or snapshot statistics, which they fear is a harbinger for a return to “lock ’em up” law enforcement.
David Krajicek is a contributing editor of TCR. He welcomes readers comments.