Wednesday, January 27, 2016

RAHM-RITHMATIC: Mayor Says "Crime Is Down" On CTA (But Bus Stop Murders And Robberies Don't Count)

CTA claims there were no homicides on its property last year.. This homicide at an Uptown bus stop was officially recorded as occurring in the "street." (NBC5Chicago screen grab)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel summoned reporters to a CTA station Wednesday morning to announce an enormous drop in crime on the transit agency's property last year.  But the mayor conveniently left out crimes reported at CTA bus stops.

It was a classic "crime is down" moment for Emanuel, who twisted Chicago crime stats to the breaking point under former police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Wednesday, the mayor claimed that there were 364 "serious crimes" including robberies, sexual assaults, and aggravated batteries across the CTA system.  He didn't count the 224 serious crimes that were reported at bus stops.

Here's the actual number of FBI Index crimes ("serious crimes") reported on CTA property over the past two years, including bus stops:
CRIME20152014
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT5057
AGGRAVATED BATTERY116102
ARSON30
BURGLARY04
CRIMINAL SEXUAL ASSAULT128
ROBBERY405490
TOTAL REPORTS586661

The  Tribune reported Wednesday:
In 2014, there were 4,691 crimes reported on CTA property compared to 3,512 in 2015, according to the statistics released by the agency. 
Huh. The city's online database shows 5,367 crimes at all CTA-related locations in 2014, not 4,691.

And the portal shows CTA 4,110 crimes last year, far more than the 3,512 Rahm counted.

Incredibly, the press was told that there were no homicides on CTA property last year.

Yet, a Chicago police officer who works in another part of town told us that he personally knows of three murders at CTA bus stops last year. And we easily remembered this one at a CTA bus stop in Uptown. Yet, not a single homicide was officially said to have happened at a CTA bus stop or on other agency property.

Turnstile Jumpers Disappear

If the city's public crime data portal is to be believed, more than half of the reported crime reduction that Rahm is promoting came from a hard-to-believe free fall in fare jumping.

There were 694 cases of "theft of labor or services" on CTA property in 2014, but only 137 last year. That's a miraculous 80% drop.

Maybe CTA has created an invisible turnstile force shield? Or maybe, just maybe, the city hasn't been enforcing the law? After all, if no crime report is taken, then there's no crime to count in the statistics. We'd put large sums of money on the latter.

"Down"

So, sure. crime is "down."  As long as you follow the city's unique way of counting crime—dead bodies, robberies, and beatings at bus stations don't count. And turnstile jumpers have virtually vanished, we're supposed to believe. Lord only knows what a critical analysis of the other crime categories would show.

Here's a year-to-year comparison of all CTA crime reports, according to the city data portal:

CRIME CATEGORY20152014Change%Change
ARSON303N/A
ASSAULT258269-11-4.09%
BATTERY803779243.08%
BURGLARY04-4-100.00%
CONCEALED CARRY VIOLATION101N/A
CRIM SEXUAL ASSAULT128450.00%
CRIMINAL DAMAGE347383-36-9.40%
CRIMINAL TRESPASS115157-42-26.75%
DECEPTIVE PRACTICE255884-629-71.15%
GAMBLING303N/A
INTERFERE W/PUBLIC OFFICER1422-8-36.36%
INTIMIDATION1100.00%
KIDNAPPING211100.00%
LIQUOR LAW VIOLATION13-2-66.67%
MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT6600.00%
NARCOTICS196258-62-24.03%
NON-CRIMINAL02-2-100.00%
OFFENSE INVOLVING CHILDREN75240.00%
OTHER OFFENSE3646-10-21.74%
PROSTITUTION02-2-100.00%
PUBLIC INDECENCY03-3-100.00%
PUBLIC PEACE VIOLATION535211.92%
ROBBERY405490-85-17.35%
SEX OFFENSE4465-21-32.31%
STALKING2200.00%
THEFT15251901-376-19.78%
WEAPONS VIOLATION2124-3-12.50%
TOTAL REPORTS FILED41105367-1257-23.42%
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