Battle Over NYC Crime Stats


bill bratton

In a statement this week, former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly alleged that there is a 20 percent increase in homicides by gun. The city claims overall shootings are down.

“Members of the New York City Police Department have informed me that the current administration has changed the way shootings victims are calculated,” said Kelly, according to a report from WABC in New York.

“For example, a victim who incurs a graze wound are often not counted as a shooting victim, as was done previously. Similarly, a victim who sustains wounds by flying glass caused by a shooting is not recorded as a shooting victim. Further, wounds sustained by a victim who refuses to cooperate with a police investigation have been recorded as self-inflicted.”

With homicides, the category of “circumstances undetermined pending investigation” has been misapplied to manipulate the murder totals, Kelly said. He further commented that his information came from active police department officials and were not being made to attack the department itself.

Current Police Commissioner Bill Bratton responded Wednesday, saying, “As you know, the first casualty of politics is usually the truth. Mr. Kelly is selling a book; the New York Post is reporting he’s thinking of running for mayor. I stand by my current statistics because they are factual and they are the truth.”

Bratton said that next year, “we’ll report New York City had the safest crime year since the 1960s.”

“We stand by our current statistics and rise and fall on them,” said Bratton. “This is the safest city in America.”

And even though Kelly was once the commissioner, “he is no longer there,” said Bratton, “He was the police commissioner. I am the police commissioner. I know what we’re doing.”

Further, Bratton said he has no problem with the idea of an independent party looking at the city’s statistics.

“Every month I stand before the media in New York, the toughest media in the world and we talk about our current statistics,” said Bratton. “In his 12 years that never happened. Every month we take our crime statistics we talk about. He’s making a statement about homicides by guns are up this year.

“No surprise. However, homicide by stabbings are down this year. We have overall an increase of about 67 homicide against last year’s record low number. Last year was the lowest in the history of the city.”

Further, he commented that the amount of crime committed by “street people” is minimum, but brings attention as the the criminal is often mentally unstable.

“We have 6 million a day ride the subways. I have six reported crimes a day on the subway,” said Bratton. “8.5 million people live in the city and [there are] 60 million tourist. Broadway attendance is up. People might have a sense of unease, but it’s not stopping them from coming.”

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