OpinionsTrump is right about violent crime: It’s on the rise in major cities.By Sean Kennedy and Parker Abt August 5 at 7:09 PMSean Kennedy is a visiting fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute, a conservative think tank. Parker Abt is a student at the University of Pennsylvania.That’s a historic increase since Ferguson in August 2014, especially since the homicide rate should be falling due to better emergency medical care and better video surveillance deterring people from turning to a life of crime.
Last month, the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch convened their political network to discuss a path forward. Top on the list was criminal-justice reform — a passion the Kochs share with President Obama.The strange bedfellows, Obama and the Kochs, argue that crime can be tackled even as punishments are reduced, but they are running headlong into Donald Trump’s counternarrative that crime is on the rise and “law and order” must be restored.Obama and the Kochs insist that crime is actually at all-time lows.Mark Holden, the Koch brothers’ political adviser, is convinced the evidence backs up his argument, saying: “I don’t think the data shows that [crime is rising]. I think it shows the opposite. I think you’ll see the data shows some spikes in some cities on some issues, but I think we’re much safer, and that’s what the data shows.”Obama echoed the sentiment in his Democratic National Convention speech last month, when he said, “The crime rate [is] as low as [it’s] been in decades.” …There’s one problem, however. Most of those who reject Trump’s crime claims don’t cite any data beyond 2014, the last year of fully available FBI statistics. To any claims that crime has risen since then, they respond that there are only “upticks” in a few cities. …Furthermore, data collected by the Major Cities Chiefs Association indicate that this trend has continued into 2016. In the first half of the year, homicides are up 15 percent over 2015. …However, while the rise in homicide rates is not uniform, in aggregate murder is up 21 percent in the major cities we surveyed, comparing the first half of 2014 to the first half of 2016.
Even as robbery dipped slightly, aggravated assault jumped 10 percent. Total violent crime figures for the selected cities rose 6 percent, according to our analysis.So violent crime, in most major cities at least, is on the rise.Some of increase in murder is terrorism, like in Orlando and the BLM massacres of cops. But, mostly, the rise in murder, such as in Chicago, seems to be driven more by BLM indirectly, by agitating blacks and discouraging cops, than BLM directly inspiring murder, as it did in the Dallas and Baton Rouge terrorist attacks.I asked reporter Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland about Mexican heroin in America, if the spike in homicides is due to heroin dealers fighting turf wars like during the crack wars days of a quarter of a century ago. He said he was unsure about Chicago, but didn’t think that was true in general. So, if it’s not heroin, than what else could it be besides BLM?