Murders, Violent Crime Sharply Rise in 2015, Says FBI

The FBI released its report on 2015’s violent crime rates on Monday, revealing a 10.8 percent increase in murders from 2014 to 2015, and a 3.9 percent increase in the number of violent crimes.

From by Katie McHugh, September 26, 2016

Violent crimes include “murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault,” according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.

Aggravated assault rose by 4.6 percent. Rape rose by 6.3 percent. Burglaries fell by 7.8 percent while larceny-thefts dropped 1.8 percent. Vehicle thefts increased by 3.1 percent and property crimes, not including arson, cost victims $14.3 billion. During the year, property-related crime dropped by 2.6 percent.

Media coverage emphasized the impact of the crime rise on the popularity of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The Washington Post: “Violent crime and murders both went up in 2015, FBI says”

The long-awaited FBI report was released amid heightened scrutiny of violent crime in the United States, propelled by an increase in homicides in a number of major cities and repeated comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump…

The FBI statistics were released just hours before Trump and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, meet for their first presidential debate. Crime and law enforcement have become major themes of this campaign, with Trump framing himself as a candidate of law and order and regularly invoking increases in homicides (particularly in Chicago, which led the country in killings last year and far outpaces any other city so far this year)…

Trump’s comments on the subject, part of a campaign pitch that describes America in grim, bleak terms, have ranged from accurately citing statistics showing homicide increases in cities to blanket, untrue assertions that crime is at unprecedented levels. The Brennan Center, in its analysis last week, said there is no proof of a nationwide crime wave.

In fact, the Brennan Center downplayed the results of its analysis to support its criminal-leniency policies and sentencing rewrites at the federal level. From 2014 to 2016, using data collected from police departments in the 30 largest U.S. cities, the Center projected murders would increase 31.5 percent within 24 months.

Reuters looked for possible good news: “Violent crime in U.S. rose in 2015 but far from peak levels: FBI”

Coming on the day of the first debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the report could “be turned into political football,” said Robert Smith, a research fellow at Harvard Law School…

Trump last week praised aggressive policing, including “stop-and-frisk” tactics that critics say unfairly target minorities.

The Guardian wrung its hands over Trump’s possible political gain from public worries about rising crime, after leading with “Murders up 10.8% in biggest percentage increase since 1971, FBI data shows.”

Trump has blamed Obama and his administration for a “rollback of criminal enforcement” that has made the country less safe…

Trump and other politicians, [executive director of Color of Change Rashad Robinson] said, “have started us down a path to undo long-fought gains in criminal justice reform, and we should not let the positive momentum be derailed by a lack of facts, by fear, by racism and by demagoguery.”

The Daily Beast reported: “Violent Crime Is Up, but Donald Trump Is Still Wrong”

Trump—who calls himself the “law and order” candidate—has been stepping up his efforts to use the crime issue to supposedly appeal to African American voters and definitely stoke fears among his white working class base…

By any measure violent crime in the U.S. is near historic lows and the country is dramatically safer than it was a quarter century ago. Homicide and other violent crime are at about half of what they were at their peak in 1991. Gun homicides have dropped by about 40 percent since 1993…

Nevertheless, Trump has been pouncing on crime and its racial contours to paint himself as a friend to minority communities, but thanks to tired strategies or bad optics that message has so far failed to land.

According to The Huffington Post“2015 Was One Of The Safest Years In The Past 2 Decades, According To FBI Crime Stats”

2015 was safer than any year during the presidencies of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. Looking back at trends over the past five and 10 years, the total number of violent crimes in 2015 was 0.7 percent below the 2011 level and 16.5 percent below the 2006 level. Nevertheless, in a poll conducted earlier this year by The Huffington Post and YouGov, most Americans incorrectly believed that crime had risen overall in the past 10 years.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has declared himself the “law and order” candidate, is widely expected to seize on the statistical uptick in the homicide numbers ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday night.

The FBI also found that after Obama’s “stigmatize-and-federalize” campaign against local and state law enforcement began, crime began to rise:


Many Americans are worrying a great deal about crime afflicting their communities:

The Gallup poll discovered that 53 percent of respondents say they now “worry a great deal” about rising rates of crime and violence. That is a rapid rise — in 2014,  just 39 percent were worried a” great deal” as they are today.

Concern among swing-voting independents rose from 36 percent to 53 percent. Among Republicans, the “great deal” number rose 15 points up to 53 percent, bringing it level with the 52 percent concern among Democrats.

Seventy percent of people with just high-school degrees — but only 32 percent of people with college degrees — said they were worried a great deal about crime. Those two numbers have risen by 20 points and 1 point, respectively, since 2014.

Concern among middle-income people has risen by 20 points since 2014, up to 57 percent. Among upper-income people, concern has apparently risen by only eight points, to merely 36 percent.

Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Riot First, Ask Questions Later

From  by Rich Lowry, September 27, 2016

The Charlotte rioters didn’t know whether the controversial police shooting of Keith Scott was justified or not, and didn’t care.

They worked their mayhem — trashing businesses and injuring cops, with one protester killed in the disorder — before anything meaningful could be ascertained about the case except that the cops said Scott had a gun and his family said he didn’t.

Charlotte is the latest episode in the evidence-free Black Lives Matter movement that periodically erupts in violence after officer-involved shootings. The movement is beholden to a narrative of systematic police racism to which every case is made to conform, regardless of the facts or logic.

It doesn’t matter if the police officer is an African-American with an unblemished record and numerous character witnesses. This describes Brentley Vinson, the officer who fatally shot Keith Scott.

It doesn’t matter if the victim disobeys the police in a tense situation and acts in a potentially threatening manner. Despite cops with guns drawn yelling orders at him (and his wife shouting, “Don’t you do it”), Scott exited his vehicle and approached officers without raising his hands.

It doesn’t matter if the allegedly unarmed victim turns out to have been armed. Everything points to Scott having had a gun, even though the family insists he had a book (the police didn’t find one at the scene).

The police dash-cam and body-camera video of the Scott shooting is inconclusive but broadly supportive of the police story. The quality is too grainy to show definitively that Scott held a gun in his hand, but what appears to be an ankle holster is visible on his leg. His movements and those of the officers around him are consistent with him brandishing a gun.

The police recovered an ankle holster and a pistol at the scene. For the police to have planted the gun would require a vast conspiracy involving multiple officers, the top brass of the department and whoever faked lab results showing Scott’s fingerprints and DNA on the weapon.

It doesn’t necessarily mean he did anything wrong in this instance, but Scott also has a long rap sheet including weapons offenses, lending additional credence to the idea that he had a gun.

These facts didn’t penetrate the Black Lives Matter narrative of the Scott shooting. Such facts never do. The narrative is immune to complication or ambiguity, let alone contradiction. Every police-involved shooting of a black man is taken, ipso-facto, to confirm that the police are racists. When the evidence in any particular instance makes it obvious that the narrative is a lie or a gross over-simplification — e.g., in Ferguson or the Freddie Gray tragedy — the movement simply moves on to the next case, as reckless as before.

It is increasingly hard to deny that the movement is anti-police. When any evidence supporting the police is disregarded, and rioters hurl insults and objects at officers whose only offense is trying to maintain public order at a protest, the agenda is clear.

And there might be widespread cost to the agitation. The disturbances coincide with an increase in violent crime in 2015, according to new FBI data. It is too early to draw firm conclusions from the numbers. They may be statistical noise, but they also could indicate an uptick in crime resulting from chastened police forces around the country pulling back.

After an event like Charlotte, a more responsible movement would keep the pressure on for more facts and wouldn’t indict police conduct without them. It would have a healthy skepticism about both the official version of events and the version of bereaved relatives. It would embrace peaceful protest as warranted, and avoid anything to bring discredit to itself or endanger wholly innocent police officers.

But that movement would be something else entirely. In Charlotte, as in so many other places, it was riot first, and ask questions later.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.
Published in: on September 27, 2016 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blame for Charlotte Riots Goes to BLM

Third Night of Riots in Charlotte: Two Officers Sprayed With “Chemical Agent”

From The New American by C. Mitchell Shaw, September 23, 2016

In the wake of a police-involved shooting of a black man Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, angry mobs of vandals and looters have taken to the streets under the banner of Black Lives Matter (BLM). More than 20 police officers and many more civilians have been attacked and injured. Vehicles — including police cars, civilian cars, buses, and semi-trucks — have been damaged or destroyed. Stores have been damaged and looted. At least one civilian has been killed. All of this has been done in the name of “protesting” perceived “social injustice.”

As The New American reported previously, “protests” which were marked by looting and violence in Charlotte began within three hours of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. The violence and looting ran into the wee hours of the morning and then — predictably — started back up again the next night, after the criminal element had had a good day’s sleep.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and called up both the State Highway Patrol and the National Guard to enforce a curfew and keep the peace. As we reported then:

In the second night of pillaging and marauding, police made 44 arrests, more property was destroyed, nine civilians, five police officers, and at least two journalists were injured, and one young man was shot. Many businesses in uptown Charlotte — where most of the violence has occurred — have told employees to stay home. Before the tumult died down, Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency and called in the State Police and the North Carolina National Guard.

In spite of these efforts to keep the peace, Thursday night saw the third night in a row of what the mainstream media prefers to describe as “unrest.” While those “protests” did not reach the level of destruction and violence seen the two previous nights, it was still reported that two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officers were treated for injuries resulting from being sprayed with “a chemical agent” by rioters.

In all so far, more two dozen police officers have been injured, scores of rioters have been arrested (with reports claiming that 70 percent of them are from out of state), scores of residents have been injured — one, who had been shot in the head during the second night of the tumult and had been reported in critical condition, has now died of his injuries — buildings have been damaged and looted, and vehicles, including several city buses, several police cars, and several privately owned vehicles, have been damaged or destroyed.

An increasing number of businesses have told employees not to report to work, but to stay home for their own safety.

All of this violence and destruction has been instigated by the lies and hateful rhetoric of the BLM crowd as a “protest” of what they say is police violence targeted at black residents of the city. Of course, the idea of fighting perceived violence by indiscriminately attacking others (mostly police officers and white people), stealing, and destroying property, is — on its very face — ridiculous. As the National Guard patrols the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, the violence seems to be diminishing. This provides evidence of a basic principle of liberty: Those who will not govern themselves must — and will — be governed by others. The current state of destruction and heavy police and military presence in Charlotte is laid squarely at the feet of the BLM crowd. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for them to take responsibility or to stop blaming everyone else.

Published in: on September 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

The War on Cops, How It Makes Everyone Less Safe

From The New American by Bob Adelmann, September 13, 2016

There were so many shootings over the weekend in Chicago that the city’s CBS affiliate didn’t have all the particulars until after 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The station then added another shooting to the list just before going online with the depressing news: Eight people were killed and at least 33 others were wounded in Chicago between Friday evening and Monday morning.

The first homicide occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Friday night with the shooting death of 18-year-old Louis Rodriguez; the last shooting occurred at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning when a man standing on a sidewalk in Chicago’s West Side was shot by someone cruising by in a vehicle. At press time the victim was listed in serious condition.

One of the many weekend shootings involved the death of a man attending a vigil for another who was shot the day before. He was killed by two men in a grey minivan who then sped away. The case is under investigation.

Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, explained the reason why: the “Ferguson Effect.” First coined by Sam Dotson, chief of the St. Louis Police Department in 2014, the term describes the increasing reluctance of officers on the beat to confront criminals owing to fears that they might be charged themselves with criminal activity. As a result, wrote Dotson, “The criminal element is feeling empowered.”

In an article in the Wall Street Journal in May of 2015, Mac Donald claimed that, thanks to the “Ferguson Effect” — named for the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri — “cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity,” leading inevitably to that criminal “empowerment.”

In the Journal on Sunday, Mac Donald expanded on her theme, claiming that “Chicago officers have cut back drastically on proactive policing under the onslaught of criticism from the Black Lives Matter movement and its political and media enablers.” As a result, she wrote, “criminals are back in control and black lives are being lost at a rate not seen for decades.”

By September 8 nearly 3,000 people had been shot in Chicago since the first of the year — an average of one shooting victim every two hours. A total of 516 people have been murdered while gun homicides and non-fatal shootings jumped by half from the same period a year earlier.

Mac Donald claims that the media blames poverty, racism, and lack of government services as the cause behind the Chicago horror, while Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences that release violent criminals back on the street. Any attempt by the state’s legislature to impose stricter sentencing is successfully blocked by the legislature’s Black Caucus.

In April Mac Donald spoke at Hillsdale College, blaming the Movement for Black Lives (50 organizations including Black Lives Matter) as the primary driver behind the anti-police movement. The group, according to Mac Donald, promotes the lie that racist police officers represent the greatest threat to young black men today. This has led to riots, murder, and attempted murder of police officers and a campaign to eliminate traditional grand jury proceedings when police use lethal force.

This lie has led to the spreading of the Ferguson Effect, where “police officers are backing off of proactive policing in the face of the relentless venom directed at them on the street and in the media.”

What Mac Donald failed to tell her Hillsdale audience about is far more sinister: the agenda and the forces behind the BLM. Founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013, BLM is closely affiliated with a vicious hard-left communist revolutionary outfit called the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). This is a Marxist-Leninist organization that calls for the overthrow of capitalism, to be replaced by a communist dictatorship. The BLM is informed by the FRSO’s view of America as an inherently and irredeemably racist nation where “white privilege” is ubiquitous and “national oppression [of blacks] is at the heart of [the nation’s] economic, political and ideological traditions, and the oppression of the African American people in particular have been central to the U.S. class struggle.”

The FRSO calls for “a social system where … wealth is not in the hands of a few billionaires, but is controlled by the people.” Of course, the FRSO intends that, following the destruction of capitalism, it will represent “the people” in setting up the new dictatorship.

To get there, however, local police must be replaced by federal police, and the best way to do that is to create distrust among the citizenry over local police, leaving the way open for a federal “gestapo” in charge of keeping the peace and removing recalcitrants and other anti-communists in the process.

Making the point, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin announced last week that the Chicago Police Department will be receiving more than $2.3 million in taxpayer funds that will, he said, “help equip those officers with the best, most up-to-date tools to do their jobs effectively and keep residents safe.” It will also come with the inevitable strings which, over time, become ropes and then hawsers, turning the CPD into a mere substation of the national police force in the making.

Mac Donald expressed dismay and frustration at the success of the BLM to create the vacuum to be filled by federal intrusions and eventually the takeovers of local police. She closed her speech at Hillsdale with this observation: “I don’t know what will end the current frenzy against the police. What I do know is that we are playing with fire, and if it keeps spreading, it will be hard to put out.”

“We” are not playing with fire, Ms. Mac Donald. “We” are the target of the revolutionaries, as are our local police. “We” will keep our freedoms only to the extent that we truly understand the war against those freedoms, who its enemies are, what their intentions are, and then take action. For 50 years The John Birch Society has been in the forefront of that battle, forming its first “Support Your Local Police” committees in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Unless and until awareness and understanding is sufficient to expose, neuter, and then eliminate that threat, it will indeed “keep spreading.”

Published in: on September 13, 2016 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Local , State, Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Searching for Suspect in Murder of Shelby, NC Police Officer

From The Shelby Star by Joyce Orlando, September 12, 2016

Shelby Police are still searching for 23-year-old Irving Lucien Fenner Jr., who is suspected of fatally shooting Officer Tim Brackeen.


23-year-old Irving Lucien Fenner Jr

Brackeen, who was shot in the chest while searching for Fenner early Saturday morning, died around 11:40 a.m. Monday.

Police Officer Tim Brackeen | Shelby Police Department, North Carolina

Shelby Police Officer Tim Bracken

Law enforcement from Shelby; the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office; the State Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and multiple other agencies have been chasing leads since Brackeen was shot, Chief Jeff Ledford said.

“We have teams out 24/7, checking on tips,” he said.

Fenner still faced charges of attempted murder related to the shooting as of 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Gov. Pat McCrory spoke with Ledford on Sunday about Brackeen.

“The governor has been extremely supportive and has offered us every state resource that we need,” Ledford said.

At 4:45 p.m. Monday, Ledford addressed the media and said the search for Fenner continues as it had through the weekend.

Brackeen was looking for Fenner at 12:21 a.m. Saturday to serve a warrant on a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon. He reportedly found Fenner at 212 Gidney St., near Bethel Baptist Church, in Shelby, police said. The two struggled outside the home, and Brackeen was shot in the chest, Ledford said Saturday.

Other officers arriving on the scene heard the sound of gunfire, and when they went to Brackeen’s location, they found him outside the home and injured, Ledford said Saturday. Brackeen was wearing his bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting.

Brackeen and Fenner had met before Saturday night. In June 2012, Brackeen performed a traffic stop and wrote Fenner citations for no operator’s license, and for failing to stop at a sign or red light. Those charges were disposed of by a judge in 2013.

Fenner was also convicted of assault of a Shelby Police Department law enforcement animal in July 2009, which was disposed of in August 2009. He was also awaiting a hearing on two citations issued by the Sheriff’s Office for misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana up to a half ounce and carrying a concealed gun.

McCrory announced Monday the state is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the shooting of Brackeen.

Cleveland County Crime Stoppers is also offering a continuously increasing reward in the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the shooting. Donations can be made to Crime Stoppers at by searching for Crime Stoppers, or through checks mailed to Crime Stoppers, P.O. Box 3262, Shelby, NC 28151.

“We will continue to get the reward money up,” Ledford said.

Call Shelby Police Department at 704-484-6845 with any tips regarding Fenner’s whereabouts.


Published in: on September 12, 2016 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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