QPP Extra — Jeff Asher: Are Murder Rates Rising?

Jeff Asher is a crime analyst and consultant based out of New Orleans. He previously worked as a crime analyst for the City of New Orleans. Jeff runs the NOLA Crime News blog and can be found on twitter @Crimealytics.

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The genesis of this podcast interview was the release by the Brennan Center of a report that all measures of crime — overall crime, violent crime, and murder — are projected to decline in 2017.

The Brennan Center’s findings directly undercut any claim that the nation is experiencing a crime wave. In 2015 and 2016, overall crime rates remained stable, while murder and violent crime rose slightly. Now, in 2017, crime and murder are projected to decline again.

The 2017 murder rate is expected to be on par with that of 2009, well at the bottom of the historic post-1990 decline, yet still higher than the lowest recorded rate in 2013. Notably, the Brennan Center states that half the murder increase from 2014 to 2017 (55.6 percent) is attributable to two cities — Chicago and Baltimore. Yet in reality, the figure is closer to 14 percent.

Peter and Jeff had independently discussed some issues with this report, and wanted to dig into them.

Peter’s best response to Brennan Center’s reports.

One highlight from the podcast is when Peter Moskos asks Jeff Asher this question: Why are murder rates so hard? It seems to be a political divide. The left is saying that homicide isn’t going up, and homicide is definitely going up. On the right they say that everything’s out of control and it’s the most violent it’s ever been which is a downright lie. Why do you think this split exists?


OK, maybe you will believe what happens next: Jeff answers the question.

Enjoy, and leave your comments.