A big part of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was this desire to return to “law and order” that was based on the unfounded idea that crime was on the rise. Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed, saying in his swearing-in ceremony that by his “best judgment, having been involved in criminal law enforcement for many years, is that this is a dangerous, permanent trend that places the health and safety of the American people at risk.”
It turns out that the attorney general’s “best judgement” is specious at best. Well after Sessions and Trump’s claims were debunked, The New York Times reported that crime rates in the Big Apple is at its lowest since the 1950s. Homicides have precipitously dropped from 2,245 in 1990—when New York was known as the “murder capital of the nation”—to 286 this year.
Sessions stated his firm belief in the Draconian “broken windows” policing earlier this summer, while Trump has openly supported a nationwide stop-and-frisk policy, claiming that “in New York City it was so incredible, the way it worked.”
The NYPD has rolled back on both measures in recent years, yet crime has continued on its downward trend. The 94,806 reported crimes in the major felony categories—rape, murder and manslaughter, assault, robbery, burglary, grand larceny, and car thefts—is down from last year’s 101,716, which was a record low at the time. Police officials told the Times their main concern is the increase in rape reports, an uptick they attribute to the #MeToo Movement that’s encouraged victims of sex crimes to come forward.
And the decrease in crime isn’t exclusive to New York.. On December 19, New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice published a study estimating that crime will decline by 2.7 percent in the country’s largest 30 cities. The falling murder rates in both Detroit and Chicago over the past year also prove that the “American Carnage” Trump spoke of in his inauguration speech doesn’t actually exist.