Fact-check dinging GOP for blaming Biden for increased homicides concedes rising rates in Democrat-led cities

on Jul14
by | Comments Off on Fact-check dinging GOP for blaming Biden for increased homicides concedes rising rates in Democrat-led cities |

A FactCheck.org piece last week dinged House Republicans for appearing to blame rising homicide rates on President Biden, although it conceded they have sharply risen compared to last year in six of the seven Democrat-led cities spotlighted by the GOP.

Citing the Fraternal Order of Police, the House GOP tweeted a June 28 graphic from Fox News of increased homicide rates in major cities like Portland, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. FactCheck.org took exception to Republicans framing it as “Biden’s America,” noting municipal homicide rates had increased under the Trump administration as well.

“Experts say there are several factors that may explain the rising number of homicides, but the president is not one of them – regardless of party,” the site wrote.

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However, it couldn’t argue with the numbers, as violent crime has emerged as a significant issue for the nascent Biden administration.

“We pulled the most recent homicide data available as of July 7 from the police departments of the seven cities listed in the Fox graphic. Six of the seven have seen increases in homicides in 2021 compared with the same period in 2020,” the site wrote.

Indeed, New York (8.5% increase), Portland (533.3%), Los Angeles (24.8%), Philadelphia (35.7%), Washington, D.C., (8.9%) and Minneapolis (50%) also had higher homicide rates in 2021 than in the same period to date in 2020, according to FactCheck.org. It claimed Chicago’s rate was down 0.3 percent as of July 4, but a Chicago Tribune tracker as of July 7 found there had been five more homicides compared to the same time last year.

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The cities are all run by Democratic mayors and some like Minneapolis, New York, and Portland sliced funding for police department budgets over the past year, in response to protests following the death of George Floyd. One expert cited by FactCheck.org, however, blamed the pandemic and also said the rise in gun sales was to blame.

“You saw millions of guns purchased since March – more than average — and some of those guns find their way to becoming a crime gun,” the University of Chicago’s John Roman said. “It’s inevitable.”

The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski has argued that the crime spike is likely not driven by increased gun sales, however. He noted that gun sales are tracked by background checks, since the country doesn’t have a national gun registry.

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“That means the surge in gun sales has been to people who can pass a background check. Those are people who don’t have a serious criminal record or people who have been involuntarily committed. They are, by nature, less likely to carry out crimes than the general public,” he wrote.



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