Apr 18, 2017 - Politics & Policy
Facts Matter

Trump's murder rate claims don't hold up

The issue:

The Chicago murder and crime rates are predicted to have decreased in 2017, per a new report from NYU's Brennan Center for Justice. Chicago's murder rate is expected to drop by 2.4 percent and its the crime rate by 3.4 percent.

Previously, Donald Trump mentioned spiking violent crime rates throughout his campaign and presidency, stating the murder rate is "the highest it's been in 47 years" and that he'd "send in the Feds" to Chicago.

The facts:

Trump's assertion about the murder rate isn't true — there's been a steady decrease since 1991. On April 18, the Brennan Center for Justice released an analysis of crime trends in the United States over the last 25 years, stating that "crime rates have dropped dramatically and remain near historic lows despite localized increases in some places."

The Brennan Center called Trump's claim of a historic yearly murder rate increase "highly concentrated" due to a murder rate jump in just three cities — Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington — with the caveat that murders are at such a historic low that "modest increases in the murder rate may appear large in percentage terms."

Why it matters:

The murder rate has jumped in certain cities, though certainly not to the exaggerated levels presented by Trump — and the Brennan Center's analysis shows how some stats can be cherrypicked to present an incorrect view of the nation as a whole.

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