Even for Chicago, where leaders regularly bamboozle the public about crime conditions, Monday was a banner day.
It was crazy enough when the city’s police superintendent told a midday business luncheon that carjackings are down despite incontrovertible proof to the contrary.
But then Cook Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx managed to out-WTF him with a tweet that claimed “the homicide rate remains flat.”
Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke to a group of business and civic leaders at a lunchtime forum organized City Club of Chicago.
Video of their remarks is not yet available, but Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz said Brown claimed that “since a carjacking task force was formed earlier this year the number of incidents have dropped from 80 a week to 20 to 30 a week.”
Let’s take that whopper one bite at a time.
The city of Chicago has not averaged anywhere close to 80 carjackings a week anytime this millennium. We know that because we downloaded the city’s crime data and checked it. Nor has it ever averaged 70 or 60 or 50 carjackings per week.
At the height of last winter’s carjacking surge, there were 208 carjackings in November — about 49 every seven days. January of this year also had about 49 per week.
Through September 19, this month is pacing at 40 carjackings per week. In fact, there were 14 carjackings on September 19 alone — the fifth-worst single-day total for carjackings since 2001.
Despite Brown’s statement, carjackings are up sharply this year. Every month since March has recorded more carjackings than the month before. The only way Brown can claim carjackings are down is to compare weekly averages to January 2021 — the single worst month for carjackings this millennium.
Then there’s Foxx, who must have her eye on winning Optimist Of The Year honors.
In a tweet Monday afternoon that linked to recently-released FBI data, the county’s top prosecutor said, “the homicide rate remains flat.”
By the way, there were seven — seven — more murders in Chicago yesterday, according to CPD media statements.
Just over a year ago, Foxx said the city’s increasing violence was an “anomaly.”
Violent crime has decreased over the last 3 years. The excessive violence of the past 2 months has been an anomaly. The @CookCountySAO is committed to transparency & using data-driven approaches to understand & address violent crime. Both are vital to an equitable justice system. pic.twitter.com/tGyoXBJVUF— State’s Attorney Kim Foxx (@SAKimFoxx) July 9, 2020