Detroit cops under-reported homicides
A story today in the Detroit News says that city's police department has routinely underreported slayings. It's worth taking a look, especially since numbers they had provided to the FBI put Baltimore in first place with the highest per-capita murder rate for city's with more than a half-million people. That ranking changed to No. 2 when Detroit police added a bunch of slayings to their total.
Now, the newspaper has found that the cops there did this often. It comes as Baltimore residents continue to question the veracity of crime stats here. While it appears Baltimore's murder numbers are accurate, I did find the Detroit story interesting in that it makes clear that the FBI wants cities to report even justified homicides. Baltimore's numbers only count unjustified killings.
I still think that for our purposes, counting only unjustified slayings makes sense in that we're trying to get an accurate count of violence. But it could be that Baltimore is underreporting its numbers to the feds. But as you'll see in the Detroit News article, what they're cops did was far worse -- misclassifying slayings as accidents and writing up as suicides cases the Medical Examiner had ruled homicides.