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“On crime, the murder rate has experienced its largest increase in 45 years. … Highest in 45 years, the murder rate.”

Donald Trump, President-elect, in a speech in North Carolina on December 6, 2016. He has repeated this statement on multiple occasions, according to press reports. 

 

We gave Donald Trump’s statement FOUR BARS because it is FALSE. 

The U.S. murder rate is not the highest it has been in the last 45 years.

The United States has been enjoying a dramatic crime drop since crime was at its highest in the early 1990s, and that includes a significant decline in the murder rate. Uniform Crime Report data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that the murder rate for FY 2015 was 5 “murders or non-negligent manslaughters” per 100,000 people. The highest murder rate in the last 45 years actually occurred in FY 1980. That year,  the murder rate was 10.2 per 100,000, more than twice the rate in FY 2015.

The FY 2015 murder rate is one of the lower rates over the past 50 years and represents only a slight increase over recent years. The rate was 4.5 per 100,000 in FY 2014, 4.6 in FY 2013, 4.8 in FY 2012, FY 2011, and FY 2010, and 5 in FY 2009. Again, these recent rates are comparatively low. Forty-five years ago, in 1971, the murder rate was 8.6 per 100,000 people.

It is unclear why the president-elect is repeatedly and falsely claiming that the nation’s murder rate is at its highest rate in 45 years.

FAMM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. FAMM does not endorse any candidate or party in any election, and it does not make any campaign contributions. The information here is not provided and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular candidate or party. 

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“In Chicago, they’ve had thousands of shootings since January 1st. … [A]lmost 4,000 have been killed since Barack Obama became president…”

Donald Trump, Republican nominee for President, talking about crime at the first presidential debate against Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton on September 26, 2016

We gave Donald Trump’s statement ZERO BARS because it is TRUE. 

Since January 1, 2016, there have been 3,245 shootings in Chicago, according to the crime-tracking database of The Chicago Tribune. And since President Obama took office in 2009, there have been 3,731 murders in Chicago (459 in 2009, 436 in 2010, 437 in 2011, 506 in 2012, 420 in 2013, 416 in 2014, 492 in 2015, and 559 for 2016, as of 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 30).

FAMM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. FAMM does not endorse any candidate or party in any election, and it does not make any campaign contributions. The information here is not provided and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular candidate or party. 

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“These are the facts. Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.”

Donald Trump, Republican nominee for President, talking about crime in a speech at the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016

We gave Donald Trump’s statement TWO BARS because the JURY’S OUT. Not all the data are in yet, but preliminary data do suggest that violent crime rose in 2015. However, crime remains very low compared to its peak in the early 1990s, and it’s too early to tell whether this crime rise will continue and turn into a long-term trend.

The U.S. has enjoyed a dramatic crime drop since crime was at its highest in the early 1990s. In 2014, the most recent year for which full data are available, both the number of violent crimes and the violent crime rate continued to decline, as did the number and rate of property crimes.

However, preliminary FY 2015 Uniform Crime Report data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that violent crime is, indeed, increasing, while property crime continued to decline. Despite the 2015 increases, violent and property crime remain very low compared to their peak rates in the 1990s, and it is too soon to tell whether increases in violent crime will turn into an upward trend lasting over many years. Put differently, we just don’t know yet if 2015 is a blip or the start of an upward turn.

Why did violent crime rise in 2015? Criminologists are still sorting that out. One theory is the so-called “Ferguson effect”: that violent crime has gone up as police have hesitated to enforce the law after high-profile and often filmed shootings of young men like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This and other theories are still being investigated, but one that is being rejected is that the recent release of more prisoners has led to an uptick in crime.

There is no data to indicate that Obama administration policies have led to the higher crime statistics seen so far for 2015.

FAMM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. FAMM does not endorse any candidate or party in any election, and it does not make any campaign contributions. The information here is not provided and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any particular candidate or party. 

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