“Chicago conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years, poring through public and internal police records and interviewing crime victims, criminologists, and police sources of various ranks. We identified 10 people . . . who were beaten, burned, suffocated, or shot to death in 2013 and whose cases were reclassified as death investigations, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.” Methinks Chicago’s being a tad naive . . .
The politicians who run the Chicago machine have a vested interest in lowering the homicide stats; the city’s Powers That Be have been fighting to forestall any notion of political accountability and, lest we forget, they’ve been working relentlessly to limit city residents’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. And speaking of naive, check out this sop to the cops.
Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances in which they were asked or pressured by their superiors to reclassify their incident reports or in which their reports were changed by some invisible hand. One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”
Granted, a few dozen crimes constitute a tiny percentage of the more than 300,000 reported in Chicago last year. But sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics.
And has there ever been improvement. Aside from homicides, which soared in 2012, the drop in crime since Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy arrived in May 2011 is unprecedented—and, some of his detractors say, unbelievable. Crime hasn’t just fallen, it has freefallen: across the city and across all major categories.
Take “index crimes”: the eight violent and property crimes that virtually all U.S. cities supply to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its Uniform Crime Report. According to police figures, the number of these crimes plunged by 56 percent citywide from 2010 to 2013—an average of nearly 19 percent per year—a reduction that borders on the miraculous. To put these numbers in perspective: From 1993, when index crimes peaked, to 2010, the last full year under McCarthy’s predecessor, Jody Weis, the average annual decline was less than 4 percent.
This dramatic crime reduction has been happening even as the department has been bleeding officers. (A recent Tribune analysis listed 7,078 beat cops on the streets, 10 percent fewer than in 2011.) Given these facts, the crime reduction “makes no sense,” says one veteran sergeant. “And it makes absolutely no sense that people believe it. Yet people believe it.”
Maybe not so many after this . . .
The pro-gun side has been attributing the now-completely discredited drop in Windy City crime stats to the liberation of residents’ gun rights. TTAG held off on that story because A) correlation does not equal causation, and B) it didn’t make any sense that incipient concealed carry would have any impact on criminal behavior. Truth be told, it will take years, maybe decades for any measurable impact to occur.
Meanwhile, the fallout from Chicagocrimestatgate should be along shortly, or not, now that the mainstream media has picked up the tale of twisted data. Here’s the suntimes.com‘s contribution to the genre.
[Chicago Police Superintendent Garry] McCarthy ordered a review of 2012 and 2013 reports of aggravated battery and assault. He also is changing the field manual for officers, so they know how to report those crimes accurately.
The audit didn’t address the way police count shooting incidents. Shootings are not included as a category in the Illinois Uniform Crime Report.
The audit also didn’t examine the classification and reporting of murders. Of the 6,260 homicides reported on the city’s data portal between 2001 and June 12, 2013, all but 19 of them were classified as first-degree murder. Nineteen were counted as involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.
Bottom line: Chicago crime is as bad as most people think it is, probably worse. Actual concealed carry will, eventually, change the city’s crime stats for the better. Well, maybe not, as Chicago politicians and violent gangs are in cahoots in that live-and-let-live kinda way you find in metropolitan areas where one-party rule leads to the breakdown of the rule of law. We shall see.