Homicides Rose in Most Big Cities This YearSixteen of the 20 largest police department saw a year-over-year increaseBy SCOTT CALVERT and SHIBANI MAHTANI Dec. 22, 2016 5:30 a.m. ETHomicides rose in most big American cities in 2016, continuing a worrisome trend for police and criminologists that began last year, even as murder rates in most cities are nowhere near the levels of two decades ago.Sixteen of the 20 largest police departments reported a year-over-year rise in homicides as of mid-December, a Wall Street Journal survey found. Some notched minor increases, while Chicago has experienced one of the most dramatic jumps, with more than 720 murders—up 56% from 2015. …Nationally, 37 of the 65 largest police agencies, including ones in San Antonio, Las Vegas and Memphis, Tenn., reported year-over-year homicide increases as of Sept. 30, the Major Cities Chiefs Association said. In 2015, 44 departments reported increases, many for the first time in years.Homicide rates should be falling steadily, perhaps 5% per year, due to improved medical care and due to the proliferation of video cameras making it harder to get away with crimes.
Chicago and a handful of cities accounted for much of the overall 10% increase in homicides across the 65 communities, he said. Rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults and non-fatal shootings were also up at the end of September, the association’s survey found.San Antonio had the highest percentage increase as of mid-December, the Journal’s survey found. Its 144 homicides amount to a 60% increase from 2015. Of the four cities recording drops in 2016, three—Baltimore, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C.—had homicide upswings in 2015 that topped 50%. The other, New York, had a small increase in 2015 and a 5% decrease in homicides this year through mid-December, and is more broadly experiencing historic lows in violent crime.
In some cities, violent crime increased in the wake of deadly police confrontations with young black men. For example, murders and nonfatal shootings skyrocketed in Baltimore after the April 2015 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray sparked rioting and prompted prosecutors to bring criminal charges against six officers.In Chicago, too, the big increase in homicides has come since the release, in November 2015, of a video from a year earlier showing a white officer killing a black 17-year-old in a hail of 16 bullets. The Chicago department is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, which earlier this year found the Baltimore Police Department routinely engages in a range of unconstitutional policing practices.Thanks, Obama Justice Department, a heckuva job you’re doing!The three biggest declines in 2016 — Milwaukee, Baltimore, and DC are just regression partway toward the mean after horrific increases in murder rates in 2015. Baltimore and Milwaukee are less homicidal in 2016 because they had huge Black Lives Matter upheavals during 2015 that caused spikes in their 2015 homicide rates. Washington DC’s 2015 spike might have be a spillover from Baltimore?New York had a brief spike in homicides in early 2015 after a BLM terrorist assassinated two NYPD officers in December 2014. But the NYPD’s soft mutiny successfully humiliated the progressive Mayor, so the NYPD went back to work with their customary effectiveness and things have been pretty stable in New York for about 22 months now.
Some experts attribute the rise to the widely debated view that violent-crime increases are tied to the civil unrest that roiled numerous cities after police killings of young black men, starting with such an incident in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. The main version of the theory holds that many officers have shied away from confrontation, emboldening criminals. Another posits that growing distrust of police among minority residents has made people less willing to come forward as witnesses and more inclined to resolve disputes themselves.“I don’t think anyone knows which of those may be operating, or whether a combination is operating,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “Anecdotally, I think Chicago is a good example of a city in which both may be operating.”One concern from this new graph is whether some bad trend is going on in Hispanic cities, such as San Antonio and Phoenix. Or it could just be small sample sizes of murders in Latino cities.One extraordinarily overlooked topic in explaining the election result is the complete failure of Obama and Clinton’s plan to turn out the black base using BLM in both 2014 and 2016, and how much it irritated other races. And how many people it’s gotten murdered. Oh for Three:
1. Black voters: Unenthused over being asked to vote for Michael Brown in 2014/16 in contrast to having a chance to express racial pride by voting for Barack Obama in 2008/12.
2. Nonblack voters: Not happy about Democrats pandering to the kind of blacks who would vote over Michael Brown.
3. Hundreds of incremental black people: Couldn’t vote because they got murdered in the BLM-caused crime wave.[Comment at Unz.com]