Why Chicago's Crime Rates Plummeted
Chicago Magazine alleges plot to fudge statistics
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2014 6:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Chicago politicians are trumpeting last year's unprecedented drop in crime rates, but on second glance it may be a case of lies, damned lies, and statistics, Chicago Magazine reports. Insiders at City Hall and the police department say that when crime soared in 2012, Mayor Rahm Emanuel felt the pressure, and told Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to fix the problem or polish up his resume. Miraculously, crime rates dropped (some by an amazing 56%) as felonies were downgraded to minor offenses and homicides were reclassified as "noncriminal deaths." Among the more shocking stories:

  • Michelle Manalansan, 29, was found dead inside an air mattress. Her death certificate said it was murder, but lacking a suspect, police refused to call it a homicide.
  • Tiara Groves, 20, was found in a warehouse, gagged and naked. Ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, her death was reclassified a "noncriminal death" by police.
  • Millicent Brown-Johnson, 28, and her son, Jovan Perkins, 8, died of smoke inhalation in a fire deemed arson, but police refused to investigate them as homicides.
Chicago Magazine's unnamed sources call this a "travesty" and a "numbers game," while the police department is using phrases like "fewest murders since 1965" and "lowest overall crime rate since 1972." The city's inspector general has jumped into the fray with an audit of 2012 crime rates, finding a modest 3.1% error rate by police, Chicago Tonight reports. Then there are people like Austin Perkins, whose son Jovan died in the fire: "I just don’t understand how police can categorize it the way they are categorizing it," he says. "I just want answers. I just want justice." Click for the full article.

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Showing 3 of 91 comments
Apr 15, 2014 7:59 PM CDT
Last time crime dropped in Chicago was when Jim cut Leroy Brown up for paying too much attention to Doris and Leroy spent 6 weeks in the hospital (at taxpayer expense). Only way crime drops in Chicago is when the denizens of the South Side finally shoot each other into extinction........................
Norman Johnson
Apr 15, 2014 4:24 PM CDT
Chicago is a dangerous place.It's got that reputation,but it's also sweet home Chicago.
Arthur Vandelay
Apr 15, 2014 3:14 PM CDT
I taught at a school whose principal did not want any accidents reported so her record would be good. anyone reporting an accident at school would receive a bad rating. Then the nurse fell on a wet floor and broke her wrist she immediately told her supervisor guess who got reassigned the following year??