CompStat confounds the New York Times!

MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2020

From the realm of misstatement and error:
After posting our previous report, we began perusing this front-page report in the New York Times about opposition to defunding New York City's police.

Some black pols, and many black citizens, oppose the cry to defund police. This is an intriguing report. Eventually, though, we hit this puzzling passage:
MAYS (8/10/20): Figuring out how to handle violence is one of the most complicated parts of the effort to defund the police. Overall, serious crime in New York City has not jumped this year, but murders and shootings have: The city is on pace to to surpass 800 shootings for the first time in three years.

There have been 793 shootings as of Aug. 2, compared with 450 over the same period last year.
The shootings have fueled a 31 percent increase in homicides: As of Aug. 2, 237 people had been killed, compared with 181 people by the same time in 2019.
Say what? Let's run through that again.

According to TimesThink, there were 793 shootings in New York City through the first seven months of the year (plus two days in August). According to the Times, this puts the city on pace to surpass 800 shootings for the entire year!

We have no idea why this deeply incompetent newspaper keeps setting 800 shootings as its benchmark for the year. We're fairly sure that we marveled at another such report about a month ago.

As you can see, the Times seems to be working from the data in this recent CompStat report. But nothing in that report explains where that benchmark would have come from.

By our own reckoning, New York City's 793 shootings through August 2 actually put the city on a pace to experience 1250 shootings this year. That is quite a few more than 800. But for some reason, the Times keep offering this weird approach to this shooting statistic.

Is New York City "on pace" to exceed 800 shootings this year? Almost surely, a whole week later, it has already done so! But so it goes as our brightest newspaper attempts to deal with a simple statistic.

No anthropologist pointed this out. Who except a New York Times editor would have failed to notice the oddness?

28 comments:

  1. The way you try to figure this out is to look at how many shootings there were back in the bad old days before homicides started declining. It may be that 800 was an average from that time period, or even a yearly high. Or you could call up the reporter and ask about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "But for some reason, the Times keep offering this weird approach to this shooting statistic."

    You know why they do it, dear Bob. To minimize the apparent consequences of the liberal-hitlerian riots and the incompetence of the city liberal-hitlerian management.

    You know it just as well as we do, dear Bob. Why pretend you're mystified by it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where did you get the idea that:
      1. Shootings have anything to do with the riots.
      2. There are/were riots?

      Seems like you're making this up out of whole cloth.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I suppose it's mostly the incompetence of liberal management.

      Did I say 'incompetence'? Nay, in fact their taking the side of rioters/against the police feels more like sabotage. Doesn't exactly facilitate good policing and reduction of violent crime, does it?

      Delete
    3. How do know that there are "rioters"?
      Shorter version of your post: I don't know anything, but I like to make shit up, just like Trump.

      Delete
    4. How will police departments fund themselves if we don't let them have bake sales?

      Delete
  3. “Some black pols, and many black citizens, oppose the cry to defund police.”

    This is a far more interesting aspect of the story than the nitpick Somerby focuses on.

    When Somerby talks about “Storyline”, one wonders what the Storyline about “defunding the police” is supposed to be.

    Some of the protesters have indeed chanted the slogan, including some of the BLM protesters, although even within those groups, there is disagreement as to its exact meaning.

    So is the Storyline supposed to be “defunding the police is a great idea” or “All liberals want to defund the police?”

    Could it be the latter?

    Stories like this current one, coupled with Biden’s public opposition to the idea lead to the possibility that some in the media want to give the impression that all liberals/Democrats want to defund the police, even though that is clearly not true.

    What does this mean? Look at the TDH comment section yesterday: it means that all Democrats/liberals will be accused of supporting the defunding of police, and this serves Trump’s and the right-wing’s purposes, which is to ascribe the rather unpopular views of some leftists to all liberals, including mainstream Democrats. (In fact, polls show that most Democratic voters oppose the idea).

    This version of the Storyline would at least show a consistency of motive at the Times, which is to undermine the Democratic candidate, just as the Uranium One story did.

    And it’s all the more frustrating because a nuanced, civil discussion about policing is worth having.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Biden said he was for it before he was told to oppose it.

      Delete
    2. Actually...

      Polls show that police reform is very popular. Even actual police defunding has nearly 30% support, which is misinterpreted as near abolition of police, but defunding the police usually refers to budget cuts and shifting funding to other agencies.

      These reforms all have majority support:
      -banning choke holds
      -banning no knock warrants
      -police force budget cuts
      -budget shifts to social workers and mental health professionals
      -ending qualified immunity
      -federal registry for complaints against cops
      -national standard for police use of force
      -federal oversight for excessive use of force
      -independent prosecutors for cop killings
      -limit police forces acquiring military equipment

      Somerby is in a funk because his methods and world views are being ignored.

      Delete
    3. Reducing the number of police may not be popular, but cities have been doing it for the past decade, and seeing a decrease in crime rates at the same time.

      Delete
    4. Good, let them. But if so, what is all this fuss about?

      Delete
    5. It has taken the fuss to get where we are with police reform.

      Progress takes fuss, otherwise we are just slaves to those in power - corporations and the wealthy.

      Delete
    6. Dear dembot, I appreciate dembot word-salads as much as the next person, but still: if "cities have been doing it for the past decade", what's all this fuss about now?

      Delete
    7. Police brutality.

      Delete
    8. "what's all this fuss about now?"

      White people are having a difficult time with black people demanding equality.

      Delete
    9. Sho'nuff, dear dembot. Why dontcha librlus, tell 'em sons of bitches to quit stealin' my banjos?

      Delete

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