Category Archives: Murder Accountability Project

Why don’t local, state and federal crime numbers add up?

Each of last year’s homicide victims had families and friends. Most had funerals and burials.

All have Columbus police homicide detectives assigned to their cases, pursuing their killers.

So it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out how many people were killed, right?

It depends on who you ask.

The FBI counted 91 people killed in the city in 2016. The Ohio Department of Public Safety recorded two more deaths, marking the total at 93. Columbus police, whose detectives are actually in charge of investigating the deaths, report that 106 people were killed.

When The Dispatch looked into the state’s tally of homicide numbers and cross-checked it with the city’s list, it found discrepancies, including:

• One woman was killed but counted twice as a victim.

• A woman who is still living was included on the list of homicide victims. (Her husband reportedly wanted to kill her but never

Read more at: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171016/why-dont-local-state-and-federal-crime-numbers-add-up

Ohio Police Arrest More People For Pot Than All Violent Crimes Combined

Police in Ohio are blaming a lack of resources for the fact that unsolved homicide cases greatly outnumber the cases that are solved, yet they seem to have the resources to arrest thousands of suspected cannabis users.a

The failed War on Drugs is alive and well in the state of Ohio where an average of over 20,000 people are arrested on charges of cannabis possession each year. While the Drug Policy Alliance reported that around 30,494 people are arrested for drug-related offenses annually, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws noted that the majority, or around an average of 20,453 arrests, are for cannabis possession and sales.

While Ohio legalized cannabis for medicinal use in 2016, it has taken over one year for regulators to finally start “to formalize how and where pot will be grown and available to medical patients,” which means that patients will just now start to see a difference.


Read more at: https://www.mintpressnews.com/ohio-police-arrest-more-people-pot-violent-crimes-combined/231419/

As violence persists, CPD murder ‘clearance rate’ continues to slide – Chicago Sun

Chicago Police detectives have solved fewer than one in five murders committed this year, the lowest rate of closing murder cases since at least 2006 — and likely a historic low, police statistics show.

Seven months into 2017, the city’s police department had “cleared” fewer than 20 percent of murder investigations involving homicides that had taken place since Jan. 1, adding to a recent dip amid a decades-long trend of unsolved homicides in the city, according to the police data studied by crime analyst Jeff Asher.

Last year, the city tallied 781 murders and only 204 arrests, a 25 percent clearance rate by Asher’s calculations

A homicide is considered cleared when an offender is arrested, charges are filed, or when the suspect is dead or has fled the country. Asher’s figures are based on cases closed in the same calendar year in which they occurred.

The Chicago Police Department says its murder “clearance rate”

Read more at: http://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/as-violence-persists-cpd-murder-clearance-rate-continues-to-slide/

What’s Behind Chicago’s High Murder Rate? Not Its Sanctuary City Policies.

As its fight against so-called sanctuary cities brews nationwide with threats and lawsuits, the Trump administration appears desperate to link rising crime rates to undocumented immigrants.

The problem with that is there’s little evidence that it’s true, and much concern among people who study crime that focusing on immigration detracts from focusing on the real sources of the problem. Worse yet, say a variety of people who study crime, yanking federal law enforcement funds from cities that have pledged to protect undocumented immigrants may simply make matters worse.

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Florida’s Miami-Dade County to praise officials there for working with federal immigration authorities. At the same time, Sessions chastised Chicago for not fully working with federal authorities to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Sessions, as President Trump has done in the past, blamed Chicago’s skyrocketing murder rate and level of gun violence on its sanctuary city policies.

“Respect

Read more at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/whats-behind-chicagos-high-murder-rate-not-its-sanctuary

TRUE CRIME: A 3-year-old found dead with a clothes hanger around his neck, and a murder that remains unsolved

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Read more at: http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/true-crime-a--year-old-found-dead-with-a/article_92457a5d-20c4-56ed-a41a-164a941e7e14.html

PolitiFact roundup: immigrants, crime and the opioid crisis

PolitiFact last week looked at a senator’s claim about how many welfare benefits go to immigrants, the president’s attribution of the opioid crisis to fewer drug prosecutions, and the attorney general’s linking Chicago crime to its ‘sanctuary city’ policing. Summaries of our findings are here. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com.

“Half of all immigrant households receive benefits from our social welfare system.”

— Sen. David Perdue on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 in a USA Today op-ed

Research has found that about 50 percent of households headed by an immigrant (living here legally or illegally) do benefit from government assistance programs. In many of those households, it’s a U.S.-born child who is eligible for a program.

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation, one study found that in 2012, 51 percent of immigrant-headed households (living here legally or illegally) reported having used at least one welfare

Read more at: http://www.myajc.com/news/national-govt--politics/politifact-roundup-immigrants-crime-and-the-opioid-crisis/UlUCHQKRAWMddqGGju50AO/

Numbers don’t back Sessions’ claim on Chicago ‘criminal aliens’

DOJ referred us to, among other sources, a 2016 study by the Murder Accountability Project, a nonprofit group that tracks unsolved homicides and advocates better crime reporting. It showed Illinois had the nation’s lowest homicide clearance rate. But the report attributes that to record-keeping methods of the Illinois State Police in gathering crime data statewide.

Read more at: http://www.ajc.com/news/national-govt--politics/numbers-don-back-sessions-claim-chicago-criminal-aliens/b86YDI4WJj1cnEaA05rGiK/

Jeff Sessions stretches to link "criminal aliens" and Chicago crime

When Chicago filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 to block the U.S. Justice Department from withholding federal police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions reacted swiftly and fiercely.

“To a degree perhaps unsurpassed by any other jurisdiction, the political leadership of Chicago has chosen deliberately and intentionally to adopt a policy that obstructs this country’s lawful immigration system,” Sessions said in a press release. “They have demonstrated an open hostility to enforcing laws designed to protect law enforcement — Federal, state, and local — and reduce crime, and instead have adopted an official policy of protecting criminal aliens who prey on their own residents.”

Under its Welcoming City Ordinance, which defines Chicago’s “sanctuary city” status, the Chicago Police Department “will not question crime victims, witnesses and other law-abiding residents about their legal status.” It also will not use immigration status alone as grounds for detention, and

Read more at: http://www.politifact.com/illinois/statements/2017/aug/16/jeff-sessions/jeff-sessions-stretches-link-criminal-aliens-and-c/

Why do so many Columbus homicides remain unsolved?

In photos, Sandi Roth’s smiling face is dotted with dimples.

Her father remembers the sound of his daughter’s laugh.

But Roth, 29, spent the last few months of her life in silence.

A tracheal tube helped her breathe as she lay in a coma after she was severely beaten in January on a Hilltop street. She was moved around from one facility to the next before dying in March.

Roth remains one of this year’s unsolved homicide cases, which outnumber the cases police have been able to close.

“I don’t think they’re ever going to find the person who did it,” said Bruce Dunkle, her father, who now lives in Rockwood, Tennessee.

The total number of slayings this year was 80 as of Monday morning. Police have made arrests in 22 cases and closed five more through what they call “exceptional clearance,” for example, if

Read more at: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170816/why-do-so-many-columbus-homicides-remain-unsolved

Police say they need more resources as fewer homicides are solved

In photos, Sandi Roth’s smiling face is dotted with dimples.

Her father remembers the sound of his daughter’s laugh.

But Roth, 29, spent the last few months of her life in silence.

A tracheal tube helped her breathe as she lay in a coma after she was severely beaten in January on a Hilltop street. She was moved around from one facility to the next before dying in March.

Roth remains one of this year’s unsolved homicide cases, which outnumber the cases police have been able to close.

“I don’t think they’re ever going to find the person who did it,” said Bruce Dunkle, her father, who now lives in Rockwood, Tennessee.

The total number of slayings this year was 80 as of Monday morning. Police have made arrests in 22 cases and closed five more through what they call “exceptional clearance,” for example, if

Read more at: http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170815/police-say-they-need-more-resources-as-fewer-homicides-are-solved