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Posted: 6/18/2009 6:28:39 AM EST
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Detroit police routinely underreport homicides
Actual '08 total gives city worst rate in nation

Charlie LeDuff and Santiago Esparza / The Detroit News

Detroit –– The Detroit Police Department is systematically undercounting homicides, leading to a falsely low murder rate in a city that regularly ranks among the nation's deadliest, a Detroit News review of police and medical examiner records shows.

The police incorrectly reclassified 22 of its 368 slayings last year as "justifiable" and did not report them as homicides to the FBI as required by federal guidelines. There were at least 59 such omissions over the past five years, according to incomplete records obtained from the police department through the Freedom of Information Act.

What is more, records show Detroit police officers killed 10 civilians last year, a five-fold increase from 2007. That makes the Detroit department one of the most deadly in America even as it operates under federal supervision, for among other things, the use of lethal force and the illegal detention of witnesses.

Adjusting Detroit's number to 368 homicides pushes the city's rate to 40.7 per 100,000 residents, past the previously reported rate of 33.8 and well ahead of Baltimore's 36.9. It makes Detroit once again the Murder Capital of cities with more than 500,000 residents.

"What's happening here is they're excluding justifiable homicides when they shouldn't be. Period." said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
Detroit police officials acknowledge that they don't include homicides that are ruled self-defense, but say that prosecutor's decisions influence their reporting.

The Detroit Homicide bureau shows that detectives responded to 423 cases of suspicious death in 2008. The number of homicides was reduced to 377 after the medical examiner ruled 45 people had died either of suicide or natural causes. But the Detroit police reported only 306 homicides to the Michigan State Police, who forward statistics to the FBI as part of the bureau's preliminary report released this month on crime in America. That number, the lowest in decades, immediately prompted skepticism.

Dr. Carl Schmidt, the chief Wayne County Examiner, says his office investigated 377 cases of homicide in Detroit last year, including the killings by police.
"All I can tell you is that we look at an injury and 99 percent of the time –– because of the kind of injury it is –– there is no question that it is homicide," said Dr. Schmidt. "Those 377 are unequivocally homicides –– death from another person's hand. We're careful about that. If we have any doubt, if it is not clear that the death is homicide, we will label that as indeterminate."

Tolbert said that the prosecutor makes the decision about intent to kill and is ultimately the one who backs-out homicides.
"We have 26 warrants sitting at her office waiting for her to sign. We cannot count those homicides until she signs those warrants," Tolbert said.

The Detroit police backed-out more than just self-defense cases, records show:
• In one case, the police reclassified a homicide as a suicide.
• Two men were stabbed to death, but were not included due to "insufficient evidence."
• A man who was beaten to death, according to the medical examiner, died by accident, according to the police.
• A baby beaten to death never made the homicide tally, nor did a man who was found shot in the head.
• Feb. 19: Eugene Richards, 54, died of stab wounds. The police ruled insufficient evidence; the medical examiner said homicide.
• April 14: Willie Lee Thomas, 61, died of multiple stab wounds. Police ruled insufficient evidence.
• April 7: One-year-old Promise Wilson-Jones died of abusive head-trauma according to the medical examiner. Her case was not recorded in the police tally.

Edited as much as I could, cause I know arfcom doesn't like a 'wall of text'.
The whole story is at: http://www.detnews.com/article/20090618/METRO/906180406/Detroit-police-routinely-underreport-homicides
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:30:23 AM EST
Only 377? I know we can do better than that...
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:30:48 AM EST
Adjusting Detroit's number to 368 homicides pushes the city's rate to 40.7 per 100,000 residents, past the previously reported rate of 33.8 and well ahead of Baltimore's 36.9. It makes Detroit once again the Murder Capital of cities with more than 500,000 residents


I believe this problem could be solved with more welfare.

5sub
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:31:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By macman37:
Only 377? I know we can do better than that...


U like that ARMS 40L huh ??



5sub
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:31:54 AM EST
We should speed it that up to a monthly score.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:44:42 AM EST
congresscritter/ We should throw money at the problem! /congresscritter


What do ya want to bet the City of Detroit gets some federal dollars real soon?
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:46:04 AM EST
Detroit police officers killed 10 civilians last year


In before the "cops are civilians" guys.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:48:03 AM EST
Cops are civilians!
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:48:14 AM EST
Problem is they breed quicker than they can kill each other.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:51:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By macman37:
Only 377? I know we can do better than that...




Detroit is a city of what 900,000, 377 is actually pretty low when you think about it. 350 of those probably happened in 3-4 neighborhoods though, that the media will not tell you.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:53:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Only 377? I know we can do better than that...


U like that ARMS 40L huh ??



5sub


I have the ARMS 40, 40L and 40SP. All great rears.

I have Troy fronts though just for extra confusion.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:54:31 AM EST
Motown, the liberal petrie dish on how not to run a city.
Vote democrat, IT WORKS
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 6:55:42 AM EST

Originally Posted By macman37:
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By macman37:
Only 377? I know we can do better than that...


U like that ARMS 40L huh ??



5sub


I have the ARMS 40, 40L and 40SP. All great rears.

I have Troy fronts though just for extra confusion.


I'm gonna get the 40L for one of my AR-10's. I'm sure the Troy fronts are plenty good for me.


5sub
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 7:05:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mike_314:

The Detroit police backed-out more than just self-defense cases, records show:
• In one case, the police reclassified a homicide as a suicide.
• Two men were stabbed to death, but were not included due to "insufficient evidence."
• A man who was beaten to death, according to the medical examiner, died by accident, according to the police.
• A baby beaten to death never made the homicide tally, nor did a man who was found shot in the head.
• Feb. 19: Eugene Richards, 54, died of stab wounds. The police ruled insufficient evidence; the medical examiner said homicide.
• April 14: Willie Lee Thomas, 61, died of multiple stab wounds. Police ruled insufficient evidence.
• April 7: One-year-old Promise Wilson-Jones died of abusive head-trauma according to the medical examiner. Her case was not recorded in the police tally.





Can't say that I've ever heard of suicide by stabbing.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 8:17:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By sd_norske:
Originally Posted By Mike_314:

The Detroit police backed-out more than just self-defense cases, records show:
• Two men were stabbed to death, but were not included due to "insufficient evidence."
• Feb. 19: Eugene Richards, 54, died of stab wounds. The police ruled insufficient evidence; the medical examiner said homicide.
• April 14: Willie Lee Thomas, 61, died of multiple stab wounds. Police ruled insufficient evidence.





Can't say that I've ever heard of suicide by stabbing.


Or insufficient evidence of said stab wounds.

Link Posted: 6/18/2009 8:20:29 AM EST
I had a buddy who worked at NYPD. Said they had guys called "slahsers" (either Lts or Sgts) who basically show up on scene and re-code things to make the crime rate seem lower. For instance (one investigation he was a part of)...

Man gets into argument in bar. Man gets shot multiple times. Man staggers out of the bar into traffic. Man gets hit by bus. Accidental death - MV ped crash.

This was years ago. Wouldn't be surprised if its still going on however...
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