The number of U.S. residents who had some form of encounter with police dropped from 26 percent in 2011 to 21 percent in 2015, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study. But criminologist Rick Rosenfeld says the data doesn’t necessarily support the so-called “Ferguson Effect” theory that police are withdrawing services in response to anti-cop protests.
There were 342 homicides in Baltimore last year, 56 per 100,000 residents. That’s the highest rate of any U.S. city with more than 500,000 people. Detroit was next, with 40 homicides per 100,000 people, followed by Memphis. Chicago, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.
Murders also dropped slightly from 2016. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has spoken frequently about reports of rising crime numbers and has warned that the crime decline had “ominously reversed,” said that the crime decline indicated in the FBI report “is something that we all should celebrate.”
The NYU’s Brennan Center calculates that murder rates in America’s 29 largest cities will drop by 7.6 percent over the previous year; falling off to levels approximately equal to 2015 rates. Notably, the report projects a 35 percent decline in homicides in San Francisco, 23.2 percent in Chicago, and 20.9 percent in Baltimore.
The American Violence website will assemble and translate publicly available information into an interface that doesn’t take specialized training to navigate, says sociologist Patrick Sharkey of New York University.
The biggest decline in firearm homicides was among African-American men, amounting to 32 per cent between 2000 and 2015, according to the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. But the decline coincided with a rise in gun deaths in rural counties.
Bill Hightower, a Republican candidate for Alabama governor, made the assertion in a recent debate. While criminologists say it generally is true that a small percentage of the population is responsible for a large percentage of crime, the politician had oversimplified and convoluted a 2003 study about school suspensions.
A new law that takes effect July 1 mandates reporting and consolidation of data from multiple agencies, including prisons, law enforcement agencies and courts. Lawmakers call it the gold standard in justice data reporting. The information will be available to the public on a government website.