New Crime Stats Run Counter to Trump’s Dystopian View

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Photo by Tim Patterson via Flickr

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.

One thought on “New Crime Stats Run Counter to Trump’s Dystopian View

  1. Hi David:

    It was fairly obvious that Pres. Trump was alluding to the “carnage” in Chicago and the “carnage” caused by our opioid epidemic ravaging the country. When a major city in America such as Chicago experiences 2 people shot every hour that is a major crisis. Most of that “carnage” is black-on-black crime and it’s also gang related. Liberal Democrats want to stick their head in the sand over Chicago and just “hope” it somehow goes away on its own. As we all know, it won’t. It’s actually gotten worse in 2017. Pres. Trump has the courage to meet this ongoing crisis head-on. We should support that, not act like he’s wrong and “carnage” does not exist in many big cities in America due to drugs and gangs and other forms of societal dysfunctions. In addition, you state Pres. Trump is cherry picking certain cities to prove his case and then you go on to cherry pick your own cities to disprove him. Chicago actually had to develop a strategy in their high schools that they titled, “Most Likely to be Shot.” A few news media outlets ran with a story about that, but only a few. Those branded with that designation got extra social services to prevent them from being shot! On certain weekends it’s not unusual for 14 school aged children to be shot in Chicago. That sad statistic exists for other large cities like Philadelphia too. Yet, the liberal mainstream media yawns about that and obsesses about Pres. Trump’s use of the word “carnage.” Last, just because a single Police Chief in a small city in Michigan somewhere declares something a “national trend” doesn’t mean it’s true, accurate or something the press should put in quotes like it came down from Mount Sinai. This country does not get to witness the open assassination of dozens of police officers in cities throughout the country and then be able to say “We’re doing great. There’s no carnage. Don’t listen to Pres. Trump.” Very simply, we have a problem. We need to identify the problem (precisely) and start looking at the underlying conditions creating and sustaining this problem. Remember the old mantra from Problem-Oriented Policing: “Vaguely defined problems get vague answers.”

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