An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that since 2009 more than 500 incidents of violent crime in the city of Milwaukee were misreported as minor assaults:
When Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn touted the city's fourth-straight year of falling crime in February, hundreds of beatings, stabbings and child abuse cases were missing from the count, a Journal Sentinel investigation has found.
More than 500 incidents since 2009 were misreported to the FBI as minor assaults and not included in the city's violent crime rate, the investigation found. That tally is based on a review of cases that resulted in charges - only about one-fifth of all reported crimes.
Yet the misreported cases found in 2011 alone are enough that Flynn would have been announcing a 1.1% increase in violent crime in February, instead of a 2.3% decline from the reported 2010 numbers, which also include errors.
Jim Geraghty notes that Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who is now challenging Scott Walker in the June 5 gubernatorial recall election, brags on his campaign website that crime has dropped under his mayorship:
Tom has worked with law enforcement, community groups and residents to develop proactive strategies, and he has empowered the city’s police department with the resources and strong leadership it needs to get the job done. As a result, violent crime in Milwaukee has decreased by 20% over the past two years, and homicides are at the lowest levels in more than 20 years.