A colleague asks,
How do you deal with the argument that crime is falling nationwide?
And answers his own question, by sending along the following article.
When a crime is misreported as a lesser incident, to the general public it's as if it never happened.[Hundreds of assault cases misreported by Milwaukee Police Department by Ben Poston, The Journal Sentinel, May 22, 2012.]
The Milwaukee Police Department managed to transform an increase in violent crime of at least 1.1 percent into a 2.3 percent decrease, through deliberately misclassifying between 500 and 1,300 cases of aggravated assault into the low-level misdemeanor of “simple assault,” which is what one is charged with for shoving someone, and which is not counted at all in the violent crime statistics.
In layman’s language, aggravated assault is an attack in which someone beats you within an inch of your life, with or without a “weapon,” or assaults you while threatening to murder you. In many of the horrific assaults that were misclassified, adults had abused small children.
Ben Poston reports,
In Milwaukee, aggravated assaults have made up about half of all violent crime since [Chief Ed] Flynn took charge in 2008. Among the four violent crimes, the largest percentage drop has come from aggravated assaults, falling 35% since 2007.
In each misclassified case found by the Journal Sentinel, the incident became a simple assault.
The range of 500-1,300 is because reporter Ben Poston received enough information to determine that 500 cases classified as simple assault were actually aggravated assault, but found another 800 cases which followed the same pattern, but for which the Milwaukee PD failed to provide adequate information to make a determination. If the additional 800 cases prove to also have been aggravated assaults, the increase in violent crime could be as high as six percent.
By the Numbers
500 Number of aggravated assaults that were incorrectly downgraded by the Milwaukee Police Department over the past three years, according to a Journal Sentinel analysis.
800 Number of cases that fit the same pattern but could not be confirmed through available public records.
214 Number of misclassified aggravated assaults that occurred in 2011.
-2.3% Drop in total violent crimes from 2010 to 2011 as reported by Milwaukee police.
Increase in violent crimes from 2010 to 2011 based on the Journal Sentinel’s findings
Source: Milwaukee County district attorney’s office; Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance; Wisconsin Circuit Court database; Journal Sentinel analysis
Chief Ed Flynn blames the software used to tabulate crime stats. Nice try, Chief.
Is Milwaukee perhaps an isolated case? Not exactly.
The first investigative report Peter Brimelow ever commissioned me to write for him at VDARE, “‘Disappearing’ Urban Crime,” showed scandal after scandal, in which the NYPD was caught falsifying crime statistics.
Then there’s Philadelphia.
It’s going on in Los Angeles, too, but I don’t have the space here to lay out how the LAPD won the war on crime reporting.
It’s everywhere in today’s America, a universal method for falsifying crime under diversity. I call it Potemkin Village Policing.
If the Pulitzer Prize were still a legitimate journalistic institution, Ben Poston would be getting one. As it is, he’ll more likely get grief from his colleagues.