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How the NYPD Is Counting Homicides Wrong

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How the NYPD Is Counting Homicides Wrong

New York Post January 13, 2020
Urban PolicyCrimeNYC

Pop quiz: Was New York’s murder rate up 3 percent last year, or 8 percent? In figuring out if violent crime is rising, that’s a big difference. But ­under the city’s archaic system of recording murders, you could use ­either figure, whichever suits your narrative.

Conventional wisdom holds that if you are interested in crime trends, you should focus on murder: It’s easy to massage other crime statistics by, say, downgrading robberies to larcenies, or ignoring low-level crimes, but it’s impossible to hide a body.

But that isn’t true. There are lots of ways to hide a body — or misplace it.

Last year, Gotham recorded 318 murders, up from 295 the previous year, for a nearly 8 percent spike, the biggest increase in a decade. It was also the first time in three years the murder level has gone above 300 — maybe not important statistically, but a psychological threshold.

But wait: That isn’t actually true. Of last year’s murders, 27 were ­“reclassified.” That is, the city ­recorded the deaths as murders in 2019, but they were the result of ­violent acts committed years ­before, in some cases as far back as the 1980s. The previous year, in 2018, the city reclassified only 13 deaths, a big difference.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the New York Post

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Nicole Gelinas is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at City Journal. Follow her on Twitter here.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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