Trump vs. Philly.com

 

In an article titled "Trump said Philly's murder rate is 'terribly increasing.' It's not." at Philly.com, staff writer Chris Palmer casts as untrue President Trump's statement that the murder rate in Philadelphia has been rising, and "terribly" so. He notes that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called Trump a purveyor of "fake facts."

In the article, Palmer makes these claims:

  • "By almost any interpretation, he's wrong."
  • "It's true that 2015 and 2016 had higher murder rates than 2013 and 2014. But the earlier two years had the lowest murder rates the city had seen in decades:"
  • "Annual murder totals have also not been increasing. In 2016, the city finished with 277 homicides, compared with 280 a year earlier. And while 2013 and 2014 had lower totals, all four years have been historically low compared with previous decades[.]"
  • "Over the last two years, the number of murders, while up from 2014, have also remained relatively low – a level last seen in 2002 and 1985."
  • After noting that January 2017 has been "unusually deadly," (which would certainly also support the President's statement), Mr. Palmer ironically notes, "But experts often warn against reading too much into small sample sizes."
  • U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) weighing in on Twitter: "I will not stand by as @realdonaldtrump falsely maligns the city of Philadelphia. I will counter his #alternativefacts with the real ones."
  • Then finally, quoting Jerry Ratcliffe, a professor of criminal justice at Temple University, we have this: "There are no alternative facts here[.] ... The president is wrong."

To unravel this, we need to take it in chronological order.  So let's go back to an article Palmer himself published at philly.com last September, titled "Why is Philly's homicide rate going up?"

Therein, Mr. Palmer writes:

  • Referring to a graph showing homicides through September of each year from 2010-2016, "Philadelphia is recording homicides at the fastest pace since 2012[.]"
  • "Police leaders and criminologists have found no clear explanation for the uptick in Philadelphia, let alone nationwide."
  • "If the current pace holds, the city will finish with its highest total since 2012, when 331 people were slain, and homicides will have increased for the third consecutive year."
  • "As Philadelphia's homicide rate has been rising ..."
  • "Among rank-and-file officers, a popular theory for the homicide uptick ..."
  • "And although homicide numbers may be up ..."

While Mr. Palmer does point out that total violent crime is down, and that recent homicide numbers are lower than they were several years ago, the quotes above suffice to reflect the overriding point to Mr. Palmer's September article: homicides have been increasing.

Mr. Reddy's legal and gun rights thriller, By Force of Patriots, is a prescient story of Americans rising up against a leftist federal government.  He is building realalternativefacts.net.