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There are a couple of ways police can reduce a city’s mυrder rate. Law enforcement can develop a strategy which helps drive down mυrders or they can cook the books to make it appear that the mυrder rate is dropping when it’s really not.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes recently discussed allegations that Chicago officials are cooking the books, now Vox has followed up with a report on how reclassification of mυrders may be driving down Chicago’s hοmicide rate.
According to Vox, David Bernstein and Noah Isackson found that “while Chicago reported 414 mυrders in 2013 they really had at least 432 through what, if you read the article (and you should) looks like pretty deliberate malfeasance.” In a joint report, Bernstein and Isackson report in Chicago magazine that the con goes deeper than the mυrder rate:
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 assaυlts, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether.
Officers admitted that they’d been under pressure from supervisors to reclassify incidents. “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes,” admitted one officer.
Residents told MSNBC that they don’t believe the numbers being reported by Mayor Emanuel and his investigators. Hayes reported one incident where a woman’s body was found bound and gαgged at a warehouse but police still reclassified it as a non-criminal deαth investigation.
So even as police and Mayor Emanuel take credit for a vast plummet in crime, it now looks as if the drop may be due more to reclassification more than true crime fighting.
Watch the Chris Hayes report below: