Las Vegas Crime Count for 2017 is Suspected

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department started the new year by touting a 0.9 percent drop in violent crime between 2016 and 2017. “We began last year committed to reducing violent crimes, and we were able to deliver (on) that promise,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. “We still have more ground to cover, but we’re headed in the right direction.” Yet that reported dip in crime is insignificant, several criminologists told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This is only a small drop in the bucket,” said John Eterno, a retired New York City police captain now at New York’s Molloy College and co-author of “The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation.”

A closer look at the homicide numbers also reveals a handful of discrepancies and a glaring omission: the 58 people killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting. The total of 141 homicides investigated last year does not include two cases. One killing of a man sleeping outside was omitted from the count because it occurred on railroad property. Another case left out involved a man who died after a police officer stunned him seven times with a Taser and held him in a chokehold. The coroner declared the death a homicide, but police didn’t include it in the count because it was not investigated by the homicide unit. “It looks to me like they are trying to show themselves in the best possible light, which is their job,” Eterno said. “But we worry about them playing with the numbers to the point where we’re not getting any true value out of the numbers.”

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