Exactly ten years ago, May 26, 2004, I published my first major VDARE.com exposé of how big-city police departments were systematically fudging statistics to “disappear” urban crime. Now a white-hot exposé in Chicago Magazine, and a major academic study, have confirmed I was right. I don’t get credit, of course, but whatcha gonna do.
Journalists David Bernstein and Noah Isackson write:
With the stroke of a computer key, [Tiara Groves] was airbrushed out of Chicago’s homicide statistics….
For the case of Tiara Groves is not an isolated one. 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, including Groves, 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.
And it’s not just corpses that get misclassified:
This troubling practice goes far beyond murders, documents and interviews reveal. Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether….
Of course, this calls into question the much-touted improvement in crime rates in Chicago as nationwide:
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.
[The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates, May 2014.]
Chicago has several huge Main Stream Media operations, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and the network affiliates. Yet none of them broke this story. Instead, Chicago Magazine commissioned a year-long investigation, supported its reporters as they devoted hundreds of hours to the gumshoe work, and had the guts to publish their findings.
The MSM giants didn’t commission an investigation—because they didn’t want to know the truth.
I’ve been mocking the Chicago PD’s numbers for three years (also here) because they were so manifestly phony. Going back to Police Superintendent Jodi Weis in 2009, for over 30 months, the CPD would report astronomical numbers of shootings and murders every month, even for Chicago, while asserting that “overall crime is down.”
As a practical matter, it is impossible for shootings and murders to remain constant or rise, while crime overall declines.
It was, to my knowledge, the Philadelphia PD that pioneered the method of covering up rapes and burglaries by declaring the former “unfounded,” and creatively re-defining the latter as the non-crime of “lost/stolen property.” I dubbed this “Solving Philly Crime with an Eraser.”
The NYPD later perfected the fakestat method of downgrading the value of burglarized property, in order to turn felonies (grand larceny) into misdemeanors (petit larceny), which nobody cares about.
I published my first major exposé of massive, systemic crime statistics fraud—what I now call fakestat—by the NYPD in the August, 1996 issue of Chronicles Magazine (“Crime Stories,” not online). I discussed numerous reports of the NYPD sending major felonies (forcible rapes, murders, etc.) down the memory hole, lying about crime in the city’s transit system, and the cheat sheets one precinct commander (Anthony Kissick, of the 5-0 Precinct) was caught distributing to his men.
In 2002, I wrote a report for Middle American News on “de-policing”, how policemen were ignoring many crimes committed by blacks in order to avoid racial confrontations. De-policing drove down crime stats, while opening the door to racist atrocities and corruption in New York, Cincinnati, Seattle, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
In 2005, the NYPD was caught disappearing thousands of aggravated assaults (shootings, stabbings, and bludgeonings) that had been recorded by the city’s hospital system.
On 2012, I published another VDARE.com exposé covering Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Nashville, Detroit and Milwaukee, in addition to New York: From Compstat to Fakestat: The Epidemic of Fraudulent Official Crime Reports. (In 2012, I also documented that North American consultants were bringing fakestats to Trinidad.)
The academic study, The Crime Numbers Game: Management by Manipulation, by Professors John Eterno and Eli Silverman, reports that the NYPD has been:
- Reducing official crime statistics by reducing felonies to misdemeanors or non-crimes;
- “Disappearing” felonies altogether;
- “Disappearing” aggravated assaults that had been recorded by hospital emergency rooms; and
- Humiliating and intimidating commanders via Compstat meetings into fudging their numbers.
Hmmm. That all sounds very familiar. Eterno and Silverman vindicated what I had then already been reporting for 16 years.
Vindication is nice. It would have been even nicer if they’d credited me for my work.
One very good thing Eterno and Silverman have: testimonials by two crime victims who gave their real names, Debbie Nathan and Joseph Bolanos. After first making them call 911 repeatedly, and not appearing for hours or days, NYPD officers had taken felonies the two victims had endured (either felony first degree attempted rape or felony first degree sexual abuse, in Nathan’s case, and felony gang assault, in Bolanos’ case; and reduced them to piddling misdemeanors (e.g., “forcible touching,” in Nathan’s case).
In other cases, the authors report, officers showed up and interviewed crime victims, but never submitted a complaint form—i.e., they “disappeared” the crime.
Another very good thing: case studies where the authors show how NYPD negligence led to heinous crimes, because officers refused to write honest reports on extremely violent crimes, which led to more people being victimized. Tus serial rapist Daryl Thomas, could have been caught much earlier had the NYPD not covered up his first-degree, forcible felony rapes by describing them as “trespassing.”
(Oddly, Eterno and Silverman did not name Thomas. I believe it is important morally, to name such fiends, and/or their victims, but also in order to get proper counts of crimes.)
Eterno and Silverman also show, sometimes with the help of retired cops, the painstakingly dishonest language officers use, cutting a word here and there, in order to change the victim’s oral report of a violent felony into a benign, insignificant misdemeanor of the lowest level.
What is not good: the truncated history Eterno and Silverman provide. The newspaper reports they cite are all from the mid-to-late 2000s. But this ongoing scandal was first broken in 1995 and 1996 (by the Daily News’ William K. Rashbaum and Newsday’s Leonard Levitt, apart from my own work).
My suspicion: Eterno and Silverman only cite fakestat stories from the mid-2000s onward because they themselves only started writing on this issue in the late 2000s, and seek to present themselves as being on top of the story.
And where things go downhill fast: when Eterno and Silverman theorize about crime. They give every form of Marxist snake oil the greatest respect: “Labeling theory”; “racial conflict theory” etc.
And, after devoting a book to showing how heinously violent black predators are being ignored by the police, in order to keep down the numbers of index crime felonies, down comes the deus ex machina—the NYPD is “targeting” minority males, and destroying their lives, while ignoring crimes by whites. This is typical of the Bizarro World of American academe, where professors rant in class about “racial profiling,” impose racial fairy tales about race and crime, and gleefully destroy the life of the rare student willing to challenge them with the truth.
In fact, of course, any honest explanation of urban crime cannot avoid race.
And the only theory that can adequately explain the behavior of criminals and police alike over the past 30 years is Sam Francis’ concept of anarcho-tyranny: the law is enforced against the law-abiding, who are also left unprotected against the lawless. Eterno and Silverman have apparently never heard of it.
But if you read The Crime Numbers Game while refusing to suspend logic, you’ll be just fine.
Plus, of course, you can read me.
Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.