This exchange at the Trump/Clinton debate is one of many that caught people's attention:
CLINTON: Well, it's also fair to say, if we're going to talk about mayors, that under the current mayor, crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is...
TRUMP: No, you're wrong. You're wrong.
CLINTON: No, I'm not.
TRUMP: Murders are up. All right. You check it.
The NY Times did check it:
Mr. Trump said that murders are up in New York City. Mrs. Clinton said they are down. Mrs. Clinton is correct. Crime statistics show that murders are down year on year, to 246 from 257. A spokesman for the New York Police Department weighed in on Twitter to say that murders and shootings are down significantly. “#NYC is on pace to have one of the safest years on record for crime.”
Fascinating, because elsewhere in the Times today I read this:
The country’s murder rate jumped more last year than it had in nearly half a century, newly released federal crime data showed, although the number of homicides remained far below the levels of the 1980s and ’90s.
And closer to home:
Los Angeles had 282 murders in 2015, compared with 262 in 2014, while New York had 352 murders last year, and about 333 in 2014, the report said.
So murders were higher in 2015 than in 2014. One might even say "murders are up" over that time period. But per the Times fact-checkers, that would be inappropriate, wrong, or simply not worth noting - it is the year-to-date figures we should be looking at, for reasons that elude me.
Compounding the mystery - the same CompStat report that shows murders are down by 4.3% year over year show they are up by 7.9% over two years. Another number for the waste basket!
Not that it matters to the Times, but Hillary did say that "under the current mayor, crime has continued to drop, including murders". DeBlasio took office on Jan 2, 2014. Murders dropped from 335 in 2013 to 328 in 2014, rose to 352 in 2015, and are now down a bit in 2016. If (IF!) the 2016 total is 4.3% less that the 352 of 2015 it will be 337.
So from a 335 level in 2013, murders will have been 328, 352 and 337 in the DeBlasio years. Is the Times sure that "down" is the right word to describe that? Of course they are, because it is the word Hillary used!