Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Montgomery County murders spike 31% in 2017

Long considered a low-crime jurisdiction, Montgomery County experienced a 31% increase in homicides last year.  Surprisingly, the Washington Post chose to run a "fake news" headline Sunday. A front-page splash read, "Killings fell in D.C. area in 2017." Only those who bothered to read the article on the inside pages would learn that murders actually increased in Montgomery County in 2017.

It appears the Post used the misleading headline to protect the soft-on-crime Montgomery County Council, who have proven impotent to stop the surge of violent crime in the County. While murders spiked in Montgomery, Fairfax had no increase, D.C. had fewer, and Prince William County's homicide rate plunged from 22 to 4. Increasing crime has so embarrassed Montgomery County elected officials, they have resorted to violating the County's open data law, by sabotaging the crime datasets.

A month-long crime data outage last summer only ended after I publicized the illegal blackout. Then block numbers were removed, making the data nearly useless for lengthy roads. Next, they restored block numbers, but disabled the sorting function of the date columns, so that you can only access random crimes from 2016 no matter which option you select for starting or ending date. Finally, as of this morning, I can no longer use the mouse to slide the columns right or left, only the keypad on my keyboard.

Ironically, the jurisdictions whose homicide rates declined last year provide more and more-accessible crime data to their residents than Montgomery County. We need new elected leadership that can stop the trend of rising homicides, not one that resorts to childish tactics like blocking crime data from the public. Sad!

88 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am confused. So did the aggregate killings in the D.C. area actually decline as the article states?

Robert Dyer said...

5:33: Yes, but it was not noted in a sub-headline, as it should have been, that Montgomery County was an outlier with the 31% increase. Making it appear that the rosy headline applied to us in MoCo was indeed "fake news."

Anonymous said...

so the article title was still accurate, but misleading because one of the included jurisdictions had a large spike? So nothing fake about the headline. It is factually correct. Just deceptive?

Is there a link to the article you reference so we can see what you are referring to?

Anonymous said...

Did you run an article a year ago saying "Montgomery County Homicides Fall by 50%" (2016 over 2015)? I didn't see any.

Or, "2017 Homicides Fall 27% over 2015"?

Anonymous said...

Awesome that PG county dropped from 22 to 4! What are the numbers over more than just the two years though? That adds a lot more context than just percentages between two individual years.

Also what are the MoCo numbers? 1 to 2 would be a 100% increase but certainly means something else than 100 to 200.

Robert Dyer said...

5:58: Certainly deceptive. As you can see from my photo, I read the print edition yesterday, but I assume it is online as well. When you have a 31% surge in murders in just one county (MoCo) while everyone else is declining (or steady in Fairfax), that HAS to be noted under that headline. It is notable and newsworthy to be the odd jurisdiction out.

Anonymous said...

Did you get those stats from the article? Can you provide a link to the source?

Robert Dyer said...

6:01: That was Prince William, not Prince George's (although they had a decline, as well). 31% is 31%. A major spike in MoCo murders. Then you have an 81% decline in Prince William, and 81% is 81%.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, as of this morning, I can no longer use the mouse to slide the columns right or left, only the keypad on my keyboard."

holy shit get Woodward and Bernstein on this! You've uncovered something monumentous, old sport!

The fact that a paper that covers news nationally, internationally, and locally through (Arlington, Fairfax, PG, and Montgomery county) would dare to report aggregate numbers instead of screaming about some murders in Rockville is crazy. Let's not focus on the massive decrease in murders from PG and DC lets instead focus on this hobby bloggers persecution complex.

Wow Robert you have a worse persecution complex than the Palestinians.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:58 AM - Here is the Washington Post article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/homicides-were-down-in-the-region-but-2017-was-marked-by-sobering-teen-deaths/2017/12/31/cf0a8f10-e675-11e7-a65d-1ac0fd7f097e_story.html?utm_term=.da905b0aba9a

Robert Dyer said...

6:02: They are indeed in the article, but hidden in the back pages, not on the front.

Robert Dyer said...

6:04: I did - hiding crime data from the public is indeed momentous, old sport.

The murders were not just in Rockville, they were all over the County from Takoma Park to Gaithersburg to Burtonsville to Montgomery Village.

Check your facts and your privilege!

Tim said...

Reimer, Berliner, et al certainly are not law & order councilmen.

We'll never grapple with increasing violence within our county as long as our elected representatives are lawless.

Anonymous said...

"Tim", you should have waited more than just 2 minutes before posting.

Anonymous said...

"Homicides fell in the District from 135 in 2016 to 116 in 2017. That returns the city to a level seen before a spike two years ago.

"Killings also dropped in Prince George’s County, from 98 to 79.

"Homicides held steady at 18 in Fairfax County and in Montgomery County rose to 21 in 2017, from 16 in 2016. Both jurisdictions struggled with violence wrought by the MS-13 street gang, or Mara Salvatrucha.

"In Prince William County, which saw a record 22 slayings in 2016, four people were killed last year."

Anonymous said...

Robert, respectfully, I actually disagree with you on this perspective. I think 6:01 is right. The percentage is useful, but without seeing the whole picture it’s relatively meaningless.

Tim said...

6:13 AM Huh? And you are?
This council has been doing a good job: more violence among our people, homicides up, can't manage their finances (revenue shortfall) and now Berliner and company say our people are overtaxed. I expect to see the council moving on tax and fee reductions this year if that is the case. Maybe these term limited folks can do something good in their final year.

Anonymous said...

6:14, that sounds like an accurate reporting of the facts. What could be considered misleading there?

Robert Dyer said...

6:14: Correct. Hugely embarrassing for our impotent, soft-on-crime County Council. They just had their [briefcases] handed to them again by our competitors in the region.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this blog post is dumb even by Dyer (lack of) a standards. Way to not even mention how low the homicide rate is in the county. Suppose that doesn't fit your bullshit narrative, eh?

There were 21 homicides in MoCo last year - for anyone who actually cares about facts. There were 16 in 2016 and 30 in 2015.

Robert Dyer said...

6:15: With the whole picture, murders still shot up 31% in Montgomery County last year. Meanwhile, all around us improved (or held steady in the case of Fairfax). We were the odd one out. Sad!

Robert Dyer said...

6:18: And there were only 4 in Prince William. And your point is?

Anna said...

Well, and a happy new year to you too.
Some things never change.
To Dyer, everything's hidden, deceptive, criminally quirky, or "fake news."

I can't imagine how awful it must be to wake up everyday and search out who and what have done you wrong and find ways to assign bad intent to other's actions. That's got to be a horribly sad and small place to live in.

Anonymous said...

Montgomery County Homicides by Year

2017 - 22

2016 - 15

2015 - 30

2014 - 19

2013 - 8

2012 - 13

Anonymous said...

6:23 AM Did you use the holiday break to get up to speed on tax laws? I'm sure your clients would appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Violent crime is up in our county. Why not find solutions rather than ignore the facts and attack the messenger?

Anonymous said...

So did the MoCo Cartel hand the NoVa Cartel's briefcases to them in 2016, when there were only 15 homicides in MoCo, to NoVa's 18 that year?

Also, if my memory serves, a significant number of the homicides in MoCo in 2017 were committed by NoVa residents.

Anonymous said...

The hell does Prince William County have to do with anything? That might be the most useless comparison possible. It's remarkable how dumb you manage to come across, Robert.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Robert Dyer is the one "attacking the messenger", in this case, The Washington Post.

That said, I would love to hear what "solutions" Robert Dyer has.

Robert Dyer said...

6:31: Uh, they are another jurisdiction in our region? Think about it.

6:28: Now you're trying to aggregate all NoVa murders to make a higher number to compare to MoCo? LOL You're struggling man, you're struggling.

6:25: Yep, we're looking pretty bad there with the 31% increase. Very helpful chart.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the fluctuation is within normal range based on 6 year history? Nothing outrageously outstanding about the increase. Sad it’s not going down, but still within normal data range if 31% is your only and key takeaway.

Anonymous said...

It was a misleading headline. Since when do we look at the "region" in aggregate? Lump DC, MoCo, Northern VA together? Doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

So did Dyer say a year ago, "we're looking very good there with the 50% decrease"?

Anonymous said...

Fairfax had 18 - not all of NoVa. Try to keep up, Bobby.

Anonymous said...

6:44 AM (first of two) - The Post reports on regional trends. Why shouldn't they? What's "misleading"? Only you and Dyer are trying to claim that the headline refers to Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

I don't see you running this year, champ. Put up or shut up, eh?

Anna said...

6:26 I sure did. And upcoming I've got another 8-hour seminar on just that. There's a few "unintended consequences" which, I'm sure will be addressed before too long. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

6:47 AM Washington, DC and MoCo murder rates aren't usually combined.

Anna said...

6:44AM #1 "Since when do we look at the "region" in aggregate? Lump DC, MoCo, Northern VA together?"

Um, all the time? "in the DMV" "MetroTraffic" " "dc metro area"

What is considered the DMV area?
"The Washington metropolitan area is the metropolitan area centered on Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The area includes all of the federal district and parts of the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia, along with a small portion of West Virginia."

Anonymous said...

6:17/6:28/6:44 (#1 of 2)/6:59 AM - You are retarded.

Anonymous said...

In those dark years that DC was the nation's "murder capital", were we including MoCo as part of that? Of course not.

Anonymous said...

"stop the surge of violent crime in the County"

What a joke. When a county as large as Montgomery has so few murders every year, there's going to be huge swings year to year, in either direction. There's no obvious long-term trend.

Homicides dropped 53% in 2016 (from 30 to 14). Did Dyer report on that? Of course not. He twists, falsifies, and exaggerates every single statistic he can come up with to make the county look bad because of his personal grudge against the county council.

It's no wonder most don't take him seriously.

Anonymous said...

Dyer's commentary is ridiculous, but homicides increasing in Montgomery County while decreasing in the rest of the area is concerning. The base was so low, though, that it's hard to draw conclusions from a one-year change. Still, it's a key data point, and the Council and Executive should consider it alongside other data -- which, frankly, are not encouraging -- and think about whether their vision for the County is working.

It's hard to assign malicious intent to the Post. It's a regional paper that covered this story in a regional way. Dyer's spin shouldn't prevent us from considering the substantive issues that the story raises.

Anonymous said...

...and in 2016, Fairfax County had MORE homicides than Montgomery.

Anonymous said...

Dyer blames his ephemeral "MoCo Cartel" for MS-13 related killings, while ignoring the fact that most of the killers have come from Northern Virginia.

Anonymous said...

@7:18 He's also running into competition. Germantown has Germantown Pulse, then Silver Spring has one.. I think it's Silver Spring Sound or something. Then MoCo-wide has MoCo Show. His "Suburban News Network" empire is facing competition from all sides!

Barwood Sucks said...

7:13 AM We're talking about 2017, right? Murders are up in our county. Not good.

Covering the council with skepticism and holding their feet to the fire doesn't mean a journalist has a "grudge". It's good journalism.

Anonymous said...

7:21 AM That's great. More folks asking tough questions is welcome.

The old, legacy media is failing us. Remember when WTOP covered the recent county exec debate and the reporter fixated his coverage on Mr. Leventhal's colorful socks. We deserve better than that.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer @ 6:02 AM: "They are indeed in the article, but hidden in the back pages, not on the front."

Robert Dyer, the one heralding the death of the legacy print media, still reads the dead-tree edition of the Washington Post? Too funny.

And anyone who can't be bothered to turn the page to read the rest of the article is both lazy and retarded.

Anonymous said...

"Remember when WTOP covered the recent county exec debate and the reporter fixated his coverage on Mr. Leventhal's colorful socks?"

Um, no, I don't remember such an article. Perhaps you could link to it?

Anonymous said...

7:29 AM Sure: https://twitter.com/DickUliano/status/930909196240998406

Anonymous said...

7:36 AM - Twitter is for Twats, such as the current occupant of the White House. A tweet is not an article.

Here is the article Uliano wrote on that debate:

https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2017/11/dem-candidates-montgomery-co-executive-debate-economy-transportation/

Anonymous said...

I think Robert realizes after his last hugely unsuccessful campaign that he doesn’t really have much of a shot at winning

Anonymous said...

7:46 AM The debate that Bethesda Magazine originally wanted to charge $75 for admission and barred Ficker from participating in?

I'm sure Dick's full article has a slideshow of Leventhal's best outfits over the years.

Not the legacy media's finest moment!

Robert Dyer said...

7:46: As my article above indicates, no reporter should be trying to normalize our corrupt and inept Council with an abominable record by tweeting about their socks. Ask them about the 31% increase in murders on their watch, their racist treatment of Macedonia Baptist Church, the deaths of 7 in the Flower Branch explosion, the deaths of 2 from the 911 outage, etc., etc., not their socks.

Anonymous said...

I imagine council press briefings going like this:

Mr. President Reimer, murders are up, we have a revenue shortfall and our tax burden is increasing. But first, let me ask you about your socks...

Anonymous said...

Dyer is talking to himself now. Three comments, signed and unsigned, in three minutes.

Anonymous said...

8:05 AM stop attributing every comment to Dyer. You sound nutty when you do that.

Anonymous said...

The number of homicides in Montgomery County in 2017 is exactly equal to its running average for the past four years.

Anonymous said...

8:09 - There are nearly 60 comments on this article. 8:05 was referring to three of them.

Anonymous said...

8:16 AM Still doesn't change that violent crime is up YOY in the county, under the same stale leadership we've had for years. But, hey, how about Leventhal's socks, right?

Anonymous said...

8:19 - Actually it is you who are trying to make this "about Leventhal's socks".

And it's hypocritical to write about an increase in 2017, without having written about the decrease in 2016, or noting that the 2017 number still represents a decline from the 2015 number. Journalists are supposed to be objective.

Anonymous said...

Saith Dyer @ 6:06 AM: "Check your facts and your privilege!"

LOL, what an babbling fool.

Anna said...

Tis better to be told factually about someone's socks than told about bogus conspiracy theories and rehashing the author's scorn for the council, which is all sour grapes.

Anna said...

and your privilege

Glass houses, Mr Dyer. Glass houses.

Anonymous said...

Its past time for a new Cheif of Police.

Anonymous said...

8:50 AM - 9 words, and you could only spell 7 of them correctly.

Baloney Concrete said...

What a disappointing mess Mr. Dyer has made of this story; a huge missed opportunity. There is legitimate, thoughtful discussion to be had about the fact that the number of murders in the county increased last year. But instead, Mr. Dyer has decided to frame the issue from the perspective of his own grievances with the so-called "cartel" and false cries of "FAKE NEWS."

The headline states that killings fell in DC area in 2017. This is a fact! The numbers are the numbers! Therefore it is the very opposite of "FAKE NEWS." "FAKE NEWS" doesn't mean "I don't care for the way this was phrased" or "I'm disappointed the paper didn't take a swipe at the person who beat me in an election."

Meanwhile Mr. Dyer makes the claim that "the Post used the misleading headline to protect the soft-on-crime Montgomery County Council." There is no evidence for this claim whatsoever -- so in fact, it is Mr. Dyer's reporting that is FAKE NEWS!!

What an excellent opportunity this would have been to discuss the worthy issue of crime in the county. Instead Mr. Dyer chose to focus on his own personal paranoia and conspiracy theories. This blog could do a great service to the residents of the county, if only the author would focus on the issues in place of hysterics.

Anonymous said...

9:14am your tirade here takes the cake..you sound hysterical

Anna said...

Really 9:38? Hysterical? You're getting yourself all worked up needlessly!

I found 9:14's comment to be a well-thought, well-expressed opinion.
Did we ever figure out why the spike in 2015?

Anonymous said...

9:14 is correct.

Not to mention, given the data for the last 6 years, the current 31% rise is well within the 68% standard deviation. In fact better. Not in any way saying an increase in crime is good, but this is hardly an alarming change.

Anonymous said...

1:11 PM You got out most of your grievances, keep going. It's healthy to get it all out.
Share your pain.

Robert Dyer said...

9:14: Wrong! The Post headline had to call out Montgomery County's increase to avoid being fake news. It did not, and therefore is fake news.

11:41: Alarming when our murders are up 31% when everyone else went down. Very alarming.

Baloney Concrete said...

Dyer @ 3:50: Wrong! Headlines, by definition, do not capture every nuance of a story. Failing to do so doesn't make the story "fake news." I'm beginning to think that while you like throwing around the term "fake news" you don't actually have a good grasp on what it actually means, so allow me to inform you: The term's genesis was in the last presidential election, during which people based in foreign countries manufactured propaganda and disinformation, and then deliberately passed it off as genuine reporting in an attempt to mislead the American electorate.

Failing to emphasize a particular detail does not make something "FAKE NEWS" and this blog lowers our civic discourse in asserting otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I’m 11:14. Certainly not discounting a rise in crime is troublesome, but my point is “alarming” and “misleading” and “fake” seem inappropriately applied.

Alarming - it’s within standard deviation by half over the past 6 years. So not alarming of a swing.

Misleading - the article covered the entire region, MoCo being only one subset. As an aggregate the numbers are down. The article specifically states MoCo went up.

Fake - nothing was factually incorrect in the article. The aggregate number for the region went down. And again they specified MoCo went up.

Anna said...

1:25PM Must be someone Dyer wants to impress!

Every post asking for new sheepshill phrases for 2018 gets deleted.

No insults, no threats, no anything prohibited.

So silly. I can't imagine how awful it must be to wake up everyday and search out who and what have done you wrong and find ways to assign bad intent to other's harmless actions. That's got to be a horribly sad and small place to live in.

Anonymous said...

Once again Robert Dyer is presented with irrefutable evidence and he disappears. Is this a person we would want in office? The people have spoken no twice, and will continue to say so.

#DodgingDyer

Robert Dyer said...

5:11: Laughable. I'm still here, and so are the facts: The Post gave a false impression that murders were falling across the region. Fact check: In the TWO LARGEST counties in the "D.C. area," Montgomery and Fairfax, murders were up (MoCo) or no improvement (Fairfax).

To claim murders are declining regionwide when they are not in the two largest counties around D.C., that is indeed FAKE NEWS! To make it accurate, they needed to either note the Montgomery surge as the outlier in a sub-headline, or post a smaller piece alongside noting we went in a negative direction. They failed to do so. Journalism 101.

The cemetery precincts "have spoken twice" for Hans Riemer, but let's have a fair election and see what the results are, chump. Give me media coverage, debates and debate coverage, and poll watchers at the many polling places where I found anomalies in the voting results in 2010 and 2014.

If you don't think 31% more people dying is alarming, I am alarmed about you and your moral compass! My God, in 2017 a pregnant woman was executed by her "boyfriend," who was given a freebie by our soft-on-crime State's Attorney on the second life he took, of her child. Disgraceful!

Anonymous said...

So kind of like how you gave a false impression that Barnes & Noble was temporarily closed for something other than a heat outage as they informed everyone?

Anonymous said...

How silly is it that someone who has never taken a journalism class and displays no journalistic ethics himself is deriding a story in the Post. Which BTW DID mention that the numbers increased in MoCo. SoSilly.

Anna said...

6:54 was me. Sorry. I was posting as anonymous on the gossip site & forgot to change back. Ooops. BadAnna.

Andy Van Slyke said...

6:57 AM Please get to work studying the new tax law, for the sake of your clients.

You spend way too much time trolling a local journalist here.

Anonymous said...

What does that say about Andy, trolling a troll on trolling blog written by a troll.

Anonymous said...

"Andy" here, "Tim" on the B&N article. LOL

Anna said...

Andy, I hope you're telling the same thing to your tax accountant. No matter how many ways you ask, I'm just not going to take you on as a client. Sorry (not sorry)

Skippy said...

Seems like some folks are touchy about the data showing murders are up YOY. Why?
It is what it is. Let's figure out how to reduce murders instead of worrying about spinning the number for political purposes.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Bethesda. Never saw any crime. My 75 year old neighbors were home invaded this year. Very sad. The people down block had car stolen. The people across street whole home ransacked burgularized.

A combination of influx of ms13 illegal aliens from El Salvador and ghetto trash from Gaithersburg
Too bad they built metro into Bethesda
Georgetown was so smart !

Anonymous said...

1:59 PM Troll alert!