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Crimes Rates and other Trends

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jhkim:
Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here.

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair

Trond:
It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.

Pat:
That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.

oggsmash:

--- Quote from: jhkim on December 01, 2021, 08:19:59 PM ---Following up on a tangent from the Rittenhouse trial thread, that started here.

I think focusing on individual news stories can often miss the forest for the trees, so I'd like to bring up again what people see as happening for crime in society. I cited a number of graphs from the FBI's crime explorer:

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/crime-trend

These are police report stats collected by the FBI, but crimes against citizens are also tracked independently of police by the NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey), which was specifically established as a randomized sample that cross-checks police statistics. That serves to make those more reliable, though it doesn't help with crimes that don't victimize citizens like tax evasion or speeding. (I'd consider those less reliable.)

Wider than crime statistics, it's easy to forget how bad things were in the past. The 1992 Rodney King riots killed 63 people - which is far higher than the estimates for the 2020 George Floyd riots. Going earlier, there were many more race riots in the 1960s and 1970s. In politics, the 1960s also saw more political assassinations than the present. There are plenty of problems at present, but I think it is important to look at trends objectively.

There are some things that have for sure gotten worse. ​U.S. overdose deaths are worse than they have ever been. Suicide rates are below their high in the 1930s, but they're higher than they've been in a long time. Americans are depressed and unhappy - which I think social media, news, and partisanship play a big role in.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/republicans/2019/9/long-term-trends-in-deaths-of-despair

--- End quote ---

  Well, if you make theft not a crime, crime will go down.  If you make rioting not a crime, crime will go down.  If you call dudes killing one another in the street a friendly shoot out and press no charges, crime will go down.  homicide in certain areas is up, way up.  The simple fact people flee shit holes to areas with less crime so that the shitholes have fewer people to kill is not really a great metric to look at.

jhkim:

--- Quote from: Trond on December 02, 2021, 08:42:03 AM ---It’s possible that the Rodney King riots were worse, but I also think that deaths from the George Floyd riots are underreported. It was as if crime and killings in Chicago and elsewhere just happened to skyrocket at the same time.
--- End quote ---

I'm going by right-wing sources for the George Floyd riots, like these from Real Clear Investigations and The Federalist, which reported 20+ and 30 deaths, respectively.

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/09/09/realclearinvestigations_jan_6-blm_comparison_database_791370.html
https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/19/death-toll-rises-to-an-estimated-30-victims-since-mostly-peaceful-protests-began/



--- Quote from: Pat on December 02, 2021, 09:29:24 AM ---That's a very biased way of looking at the data.

https://crime-data-explorer.app.cloud.gov/pages/explorer/crime/shr

Set the range from 1985 to 2020, and look at the graph.

The homicide rate was much higher in the 1990s, but there wasn't a sharp spike in 1992, corresponding to the Rodney King riots. It did go up between 1991 and 1992, but that's because the trend was already sharply up. But the steepness of the curve at 1992 was actually flattening out. The homicide rate wasn't rising as fast.

Contrast that to 2020. Homicide numbers have been much lower for two to two and a half decades, but the difference between 2019 and 2020 is staggering. It's a huge upswing, by far the steepest increase across the entire range of years. And it's completely out of nowhere, because the homicide rate was essentially flat prior to 2020. To find a high number than 2020, you have to go back to 1995.
--- End quote ---

I agree with everything that you say here, Pat. I think you're reading some causal link or lack thereof between race riots and general crime rates, but I didn't mean to imply a relationship either way.

It seems like you're saying the crime data is believable too, though, so in that we agree. In the other thread, my main argument was with SHARK - who said that the crime statistics were bullshit because he knew from looking at the news that crime was much higher than in the 1990s.

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