Chicago’s Lowering Crime Rate Belongs in the Fiction Section

Chicago’s crime rate has been plummeting but, thanks to a pair of real journalists, that lie has been exposed as yet another example of government deception.

From Chicago Magazine by David Bernstein and Noah Isackson: “The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates.”

chicago crime numbers

On October 28, a pathologist ruled the death of Tiara Groves a homicide by “unspecified means.” This rare ruling means yes, somebody had killed Groves, but the pathologist couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of death.

Given the finding of homicide—and the corroborating evidence at the crime scene—the Chicago Police Department should have counted Groves’s death as a murder. And it did. Until December 18. On that day, the police report indicates, a lieutenant overseeing the Groves case reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death investigation. In his writeup, he cited the medical examiner’s “inability to determine a cause of death.”

That lieutenant was Denis Walsh—the same cop who had played a crucial role in the alleged cover-up in the 2004 killing of David Koschman, the 21-year-old who died after being punched by a nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley. Walsh allegedly took the Koschman file home. For years, police officials said that it was lost. After theSun-Times reported it missing, the file mysteriously reappeared.

But back to Tiara Groves. With the stroke of a computer key, she was airbrushed out of Chicago’s homicide statistics. […]

…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.

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.

Why anyone trusts something a public official says anymore is beyond me. Government is a place where failure is rewarded, and extra-effort is punished for making the slackers look bad.

Yet as long as the American people can more easily name the singer of the latest hit song on the radio but can’t tell you the history and importance of what’s going on in Ukraine, and why Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, the government-facilitated 2008 Wall Street collapse, and the DOJ/AP spying case are real scandals that require resolution and prosecution… we’re just passing time till the collapse.

We need more journalists—real journalists—like David Bernstein and Noah Isackson.