Needed: Better National, Local Data on Shootings

President Trump yesterday ordered an evaluation of the “availability and adequacy of crime-related data,” and ways to improve data collection that “will aid in the understanding of crime trends and in the reduction of crime.” Better data would be a welcome development, says crime statistics analyst Jeff Asher.

Trump Was Wrong on Philadelphia, Chicago Murders

Mayor Jim Kenney called President Trump a purveyor of “fake facts” when Trump said murders in Philadelphia were “terribly increasing.” In fact, the city had 277 homicides last year compared with 280 the year before, and the total used to be much higher. The President also falsely stated that two people were murdered while then-President Obama gave his farewell speech in Chicago.

How Common Are Hate Crimes? It’s Another National Data Gap

National data on hate crime is scarce because the FBI’s counting is flawed. Incidents of hate crime have declined from 200 on the day after the presidential election to fewer than 10 per day in early December, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the center says they will persist if the Trump administration “continues to demonize certain populations.”

Rising Violent Crime in 13 U.S. Cities: Report

But there were also declines in 12 cities, prompting NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice to conclude that concerns about a national crime wave are still “premature.” Nevertheless, the Center added, “These trends suggest a need to understand” why some big cities are suffering increases in the murder rate–and not others.