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crime in America
Murder Rate Spiked in 2015

The Brennan Center, a liberal-leaning law and public policy think tank, has released its final analysis of crime rates in 2015. And though the authors seem strangely determined to suppress fears about a crime wave and rebut claims about a so-called Ferguson effect, their data do give some cause for concern. Specifically: While the overall crime rate remained constant, and the violent crime rate ticked up by only 3.1 percent, the murder rate spiked by 13.2 percent in the 30 largest U.S. cities, “with 19 cities seeing increases and 6 decreases.”

The report assures readers that the murder rate jump is insignificant because “in absolute terms, murder rates are so low that a small numerical increase can lead to a large percentage change” and “crime rates remain at historic lows.” However, murder rates in the 30 largest cities have fallen in all but six years since 1990, and 13 percent seems to be the largest single-year increase during that time period. Moreover, if we were witnessing the beginnings of a sustained rise in violent crime, we wouldn’t expect homicides to revert immediately to 1990s levels all at once—we would expect incremental, annual increases.

It is somewhat encouraging (at least for people who live elsewhere) that the bulk of the killing was concentrated in three cities (Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Chicago), suggesting that any increase seems “to be localized, rather than part of a national pandemic.” But it does not imply, as the authors do, that there is nothing to see here.

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  • Tom

    Is anyone surprised by the fact that it was Baltimore, DC, and Chicago?
    Consider the following: Baltimore had the Freddie Gray “riot” (I almost don’t want to dignify it with the term.) DC is right next to the DOJ. Chicago has been dealing with the interrogation warehouse.

  • WigWag

    As usual, Heather McDonald over at “City Journal” cuts through all of the politically correct bull. Her article published this week says it all,

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/back-bedlam-14403.html

    The Black Lives Matter movement is literally responsible for the death of black people in numbers we haven’t seen in some time. The depolicing we’ve witnessed in cities with large black populations is resulting in multitudes of black murder victims that vastly outnumber the few dead blacks erroneously killed by police. The families of these black murder victims can thank the spoiled brats who pretend that black lives matter, the press which is so anxious to blame the police that they distort encounters between blacks and the police out of all proportion, the academic elite which sees racism lurking around every corner, liberal politicians like Hillary Clinton who work to scare up votes by pandering to the black community and to progressive whites so filled with guilt and self hatred that they advocate policies which make the plight of urban blacks far worse than it should be.

    Ultimately black folks have no one but themselves to blame. As long as they cling to government programs as the solution to the myriad problems confronting their community, their community will continue to suffer. Their black conservative brethren have much better solutions on offer; their community won’t thrive until it changes its allegiance from the solutions offered by the white, progressive left to the solutions recommended by the black conservative right.

    In the interim, expect the murder rate in black communities to continue to go up. In the upcoming election the vast majority of black people will vote for Hillary Clinton; her election will insure that four years from now the prospects for their community will be more dismal than ever.

    The single best thing that could happen for black Americans is the election of Donald Trump.

    • Pete

      “Ultimately black folks have no one but themselves to blame. ”

      Amen. Amen. Amen.

      • Jim__L

        Come on, ’60s libertinism and the present-day welfare state have something to do with it.

        • Pete

          I guess you’re right. Nothing is their fault.

          • Jim__L

            I’m just saying that it’s possible for someone to make it more difficult for someone else to choose to do the right thing.

  • Anthony

    Humans are built to see patterns in unrelated events – the ascribed crime increase plus a rash of high profile shootings has brought partisan attacks on Black Lives Matter. This not a morality play of good guys and bad guys (cops and blacks). The BLM trope is conveniently trotted out while conflating issues of fear, racism, cynical political maneuvering, and aspiring intentions: talkingpointsmemo.com/news/conservatives-black-lives-matter-hate-group

    A referenced City Journal article by Heather McDonald (from April 19th) continues pattern, though Ms. McDonald continues her one-way subjective recitation of crime and its entails. The ground has shifted and resulting to old tropes to stir up unresolved antagonisms may have some resonance but cuts no new ground. “And it worth nothing the extent to which these appeals come at the same time that Republicans need to increase their share of the white vote to win a national majority. It is no accident, perhaps, that Trump has called for giving power back to the police, because crime is rampant.” (see Slate Magazine, blaming crime on BLM)

    • Tom

      Hmm. Let’s see. Violent crimes goes down for decades, then a movement shows up declaring that the police are bad and gets national airtime and the federal government behind it.
      Suddenly, violent crime goes up.
      I’m sorry, but saying these things are unrelated is a little like saying that the mountain of shriveled corpses in Ukraine was not due to the Soviet government’s confiscatory policies regarding grain.

      • Anthony

        You don’t know what I’m saying and don’t attempt to interpret until you read more. I’m neither defending nor excusing. Tom move on. I’m done whether you are or not. Good Night!

        • Tom
          • Anthony

            Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

          • Jim__L

            Many many tickle up her shin?

          • Anthony

            Give it a rest and stop pestering me!

          • f1b0nacc1

            327 is my favorite

    • Boritz

      “Humans are built to see patterns in unrelated events”
      “‘And it’s worth nothing [sic or perhaps Freudian slip] the extent to which these appeals come at the same time…'”

      • Anthony

        Both points of view are intended to provide another perspective.

    • Beauceron

      “Humans are built to see patterns in unrelated events – the ascribed crime increase plus a rash of high profile shootings has brought partisan attacks on Black Lives Matter.”

      What a mind-numbingly stupid bromide.

      “There only APPEARS to be a pattern, you just don’t understand that the human brain is WIRED to see patterns, man. Do you even know what apophenia is, man. You just don’t GET it, you need to read more, man. ”

      That argument is trite and silly, and, worse, simply doesn’t work. When viewed objectively, there is a causal relationship between the rise in violence and BLM-related actions. It is not a positive development, and dolts like you getting involved will only guarantee it persists.

      • Anthony

        You were doing fine within limits of your bromides and aggrieved targets – stay in your lane my friend (don’t extend yourself in areas where your inexperience shows to a keen eye). Do us both a favor and “move on” thanks.

        • Beauceron

          Oh, fun. Someone who has no choice but to inform you of how smart and insightful they are, but lacks the ability to demonstrate it. The interweb hasn’t ever seen that before. You haven’t done anything here but show what an intellectually hollow twit you are.

          Why do I have the feeling your some moderately bright college kid who’s just had his eyes opened by his “Sociology 101” course and now knows everything?

          • Anthony

            GOTTA IT!

          • Beauceron

            I see you’ve skulked back and amended the original “GOT IT!” post quite a bit.

            Not very fair…

            And you’ve dug out your thesaurus. Crikey. So many words with so little content and no meaning. I amend my previous “Sociology 101” insult. You must be an academic!

          • Anthony

            I didn’t go back furtively; I went back when I had time to completely respond to mischaracterization. Give it a rest and utilize TAI’s smorgasbord of options (by the way and as I written elsewhere, Disqus is currently running a “Blue Banner” warning about internet comments controlling your thoughts – give it a look there’s nothing to lose).

          • Beauceron

            Then you should have made a new post, not edited one made 24 hours before that had already been responded to.

            Sneak.

          • Anthony

            “The average comment section can leave even the most experienced users drowning in a sea of trolling comments and unsavory memes.” This may apply to you. Read about your behavior here: https://publishers.disqus.com/blog/are-you-doing-moderation-all-wrong and let it go as DISQUS now informs me each time you post with a BIG WARNING.

          • Beauceron

            Ah, you were “place keeping.”

            GOT IT!

            So, you’re an admin at this site?

        • Fred

          And here’s the pretense of superiority. I’ll give you one thing, you’re consistent.

          • Anthony

            GOT IT! NOW LET IT GO and STAY ALIVE.

          • Fred

            Yeah, because my name is pretense. You are a piece of work.

          • Anthony

            LET IT GO, Fred.

          • Fred

            I told you how to get me to LET IT GO. I have neither the power nor the desire to make you do or not do anything. Do as you like. Just get used to having your BS pointed up and mocked.

          • Jim__L

            He’s saying you’re pretentious?

            Words fail.

    • Fred

      Is there an argument in there somewhere Anthony? If so, perhaps you could make it explicit and support it with something resembling evidence. If not, it’s just more of your pseudo-intellectual blather.

      • Anthony

        Your obsessive and racist nature can’t restrain you but use whatever cognitive rational you must to harass me. LET IT GO Fred and Stay alive

        • Fred

          Ok, so it’s blather then. That’s what I thought.

          • Anthony

            LET IT GO, Fred. “you and I have nothing to exchange” (although knowing it with clarity has eluded you for at least four [4] years now at TAI).

          • Jim__L

            You sell yourself short if you think you have nothing to bring to the table, and your judgement is poor when you dismiss what is constructive in Fred’s criticism.

            You and Fred really could profit from an exchange.

          • Anthony

            Please, excuse someone else and don’t interfere with my decision. I’m older than you. I choose when to be “shortchanged” thanks. (here’s heads up on thought I will post elsewhere: “will the gutless please just put down their digital weapons”). I’m done here Jim_L.

          • Angel Martin

            ” I’m done here Jim_L.”

            do you promise ?

          • Anthony

            Angel, only if everyone else does! But yea, Angel, I’m done because DISQUS has notified me of “Trolls” lurking (perhaps,they may have mistaken you; so on this thread I would advise to write elsewhere).

          • Angel Martin

            Oh, I misinterpreted. I though you were announcing you were leaving TAI for good.

          • Anthony

            Angel, I’ve been here from WRM’s inception as my forebears (for centuries) in America. If anyone leaves it want be me. Take care Angel and don’t get caught up in DISQUS’s web.

          • Fred

            And for FOUR YEARS (What happened to the other two you’re always shouting about?) you’ve been a smug, arrogant, pseudo-intellectual putz. So sue me.

          • Anthony

            You were permitted to demonstrate your modest exchange skills for 2 years (2+4 = 6) and identified as wanting. (by the way, I made exception and read this latest rant but random luck is indeed random).

          • Fred

            Are you so delusional you actually believe you are intelligent or are you just fronting because deep down you know you’re not?

          • Anthony

            dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2838899.2739042

          • Fred

            What is this pathological obsession you have with getting in the last word, especially on someone whose comments you never even read? You need help. I only hope you can overcome your denial and seek the treatment you so desperately need.

          • Anthony
          • Jim__L

            I think it’s a corollary to Godwin’s Law that when a Liberal accuses someone of racism, they have effectively conceded the argument.

          • Fred

            And somehow he “knows” I’m a racist without ever having read my comments.

          • Jim__L

            Worse, I think he “knows” you’re a racist by reading comments that have nothing whatsoever to do with race.

  • stevegerow

    “Spiked” implies it’s a fluke and will be going down again.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “with 19 cities seeing increases and 6 decreases.”

    If you look at all the Cities with increases, you will find that they are all run by the Democrats, and Republican’s haven’t held power in decades.

    “What I love about the Obama era, is all the Racial Healing.” /sarc

  • Beauceron

    “And though the authors seem strangely determined to suppress fears about a crime wave and rebut claims about a so-called Ferguson effect”

    Uh…what exactly as strange about that, particularly when preceded by a description of the report’s authors as “a liberal-leaning law and public policy think tank”?
    I mean, that is exactly what you would expect when a man like president Obama is in charge and a report might reflect poorly on him. If a Republican were President, the report would no doubt frame the numbers as a collapse of civilization.

  • jeburke

    Two words: drug gangs.

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