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Finding the Nasty Needle in the Happy Face Haystack

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The Brennan Center is an enthusiastically pro-criminal outfit affiliated with NYU. It produces a number of papers it calls "reports," but which are actually advocacy pieces for lowered sentencing.

It came out with one recently, titled "Crime in 2016: Final Year-End Data." Mostly, it presents a chipper picture.  But if you look hard enough...
From the Brennan Center's summary:


[Our] analysis finds that Americans are safer today than they have been at almost any time in the past 25 years.

Based on new year-end data collected from police departments in the 30 largest cities, crime in 2016 remained at historic lows across the country. Although there are some troubling increases in murder in specific cities, these trends do not signal the start of a new national crime wave. What's more startling, this analysis finds that the increase in murders is even more concentrated than initially expected. Chicago now accounts for more than 55.1 percent of the total increase in urban murders -- up from an earlier projection of 43.7 percent.

Final Year-End Findings:


The overall crime rate in the 30 largest cities in 2016 remained largely unchanged from last year. Specifically, overall crime rose by 0.9 percent, essentially remaining stable.

The murder rate rose in this group of cities last year by 13.1 percent.

Alarmingly, Chicago accounted for 55.1 percent of the total increase in urban murders -- more than preliminary data suggested.

A similar phenomenon occurred in 2015, when three cities -- Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. -- accounted for more than half (53.5 percent) of the increase in murders.

Some cities are experiencing an increase in murder while other forms of crime remain relatively low. Concerns about a national crime wave are premature, but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in these cities.


Note the gauzy word "almost" in the featured conclusion that, "Americans are safer today than they have been at almost any time in the past 25 years."

What does "almost" mean?

It means that, combining the big increase in 2016 with the similar increase the year before, the country has given back at least seven years of progress in lowering the murder rate, compare this table of UCR figures

Progress, we hardly knew ye.  

Question:  Why does the Brennan Center want to put a Happy Face on this grim fact?  Answer:  Because a Happy Face is necessary to prop up the complacency liberals need to have a chance of enacting sentencing reform. 

Oh, and lest we forget, the key specific finding in the report is that the murder rate increased 13% last year in our 30 largest cities  --  a startling spike the Brennan Center tucks in the middle of its paper, and quite wisely decides not to compare to any other year-over-year increase since Elvis Presley made his debut.

2 Comments

Keep hitting them Bill!

"but these trends suggest a need to understand how and why murder is increasing in these cities."
___
Since they refused to admit the Ferguson/Obama Effect, their biased 'search for understanding' seems reminiscent of another doomed set of actions:

Titanic Deck Chairs' sad symbolism lives on
By Doyle Rice, USA TODAY Updated 4/7/2012

If you're looking for a phrase that captures a pointless effort in the face of an impending disaster, it might be "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

/"To do something pointless or insignificant that will soon
/ be overtaken by events, or that contributes nothing
/ to the solution of a current problem."

https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-04-07/titanic-rearrange-deck-chairs/54084648/1

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