I'd like to double down on the 2015 homicide increase. I've made a habit of offering a $100 bet to anybody says "we don't know if homicides are up." What's odd is that nobody has taken my bet. Some insist that crime can't really be up till the data is formally compiled and tell us it is. That's an odd form of statistical oblivion. Others say that though homicide may be up, crime isn't. That's hard to believe. Still others think it's not a big deal, any one-year increase. I beg to differ.
I cannot be sure of the motives of the crime-increase deniers, but I suspect it gets to the ideology of "root causes" and the anti-police narrative built with great sweat, care, and tears over the past two years (a narrative built partly on lies). (Yesterday, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell rather boldly wrote: "Until young activists put the same level of energy into fighting street violence as they put into fighting police violence, little will change."
The reason I'm doubling down is that a reporter showed me some data he compiled. I'm not going to get into the details and steal his thunder. Yeah murders are up in cities. But we knew that. We just don't know how much and what it means. Can we assume a nationwide trend based on just the biggest cities. Well, statistically and historically, yes, we can. (Looking at homicides in these cities versus the rest of the nation over many years, I get an r of .935 with sig < .001.)
As to absolute numbers, that's still anybody's guess. In 2014 there were 13,472 murders. In 2015 I think we'll see around 15,000 homicides. And that's if we're lucky.