Trump has spent the last few weeks building himself up as the candidate of law and order. A large part of his campaign promises have revolved around crime rates. The theme of the first night of the Republican National Convention was “Make America Safe Again.” With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Trump continued his law and order theme during his acceptance speech. He mentioned several crime related statistics, but they were all false.
Let’s begin with Trump’s first claim that Trump regarding crime rates under President Obama.
‘Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by [the Obama] Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities.’
Trump is citing a statistic from the Washington Post and, while it is technically true, it does not tell the whole story. The numbers Trump are citing are inflated by an increase in violent crime in large cities. That is certainly a problem that needs to be addressed, but the, as a whole, violent crime is down across the country. For the record, when President Obama took office the murder rate was 5.4 per 100,000. In 2014 that number was down to 4.5 per 100,000 people.
There is also a minor issue with the sourcing for Trump’s speech. While the Washington Post’s data is likely accurate, it should be noted that it is also incomplete. The Post’s story was based on the data available for them from 2015, but the FBI’s official report for that year has not been completed yet. What data we do have indicates that the murder rate increased by 6.2%, but overall murder rates have been on the decline under the Obama administration.
There is one another problem with GOP nominee’s speech. He is blaming President Obama for the increased murder rates despite the fact that the President has very little, if anything, to do with local policing. Most of that is handled at the local level so a potential President Trump would have very little do with such things.
Honestly, the entire speech was full of half truths and falsehoods, but does that really surprise anyone at this point? You can check out the video of Trump’s eariler “Law and order” speech here: