Donald Trump has been accused of exaggerating inner-city crime to try to win black votes, claiming the cities are as violent was war-torn countries.
He did it during Tuesday night’s speech in Everett.
“More than 2,800 people have been shot in Chicago since just the beginning of the year … War-torn countries are safer than living in our inner cities by a lot. It’s not even close,” he said.
Well, it’s “not close,” because in a war zone like Syria, you’ve got as many as 470,000 people killed. No American city is that violent.
But here’s what Mr. Trump did get right: in the past year, the number of black shooting victims has jumped significantly in Chicago and other cities. And it’s not because they’re being shot by the police.
Conservatives have been bullhorning this for a while, but it is no longer just Conservatives. Professor Richard Rosenfeld, who studies crime trends for the Department of Justice, has tried to debunk the “Ferguson effect.” He’s changed his mind.
Rosenfeld observed that all 10 cities with sudden homicide increases had large black populations. And he now thinks that the demonstrations against police shootings have helped spread a deep distrust of the police — which may be justified — but which probably means less cooperation from the neighborhood when it comes to turning in the bad guys.
You can certainly debate the reasons. But when Trump says more than 2,800 people were shot in Chicago this year, he’s just quoting the Chicago Police Department.