This Tuesday, President Trump had a meeting with the National Sheriff’s Association. As he sat at a table with a group of sheriffs and the press watching and taking notes, he told a boldfaced lie about murder rates in America.
“At one point [Trump] said the country’s murder rate is highest it’s been in 45-47 years. He singled out Chicago. He said Chicago is worse than some places in Middle East where there are wars going on,” Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal reported.
But that’s categorically false. As The Washington Post points out, the country’s murder rate is almost at its lowest point. This is according to the FBI who collects data from police departments around the country every year.
The murder rate is defined as the number of murders and non-negligent homicides per 100,000 residents. Beginning in 1957, when the rate was 4.0 murders per 100,000 residents, the rate rose steadily to a high of 10.2 in 1980. It then steadily dropped, to 7.4 in 1996, to 6.1 in 2006, to 4.4 in 2014. It went up in 2015 to 4.9. But that is less than half the murder rate of 1980, while the population has risen from 226 million in 1980 to 321 million in 2015.
As recounted by WaPo, below are Trump’s exact words to the sheriffs:
“And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years. I used to use that, I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised. Because the press (gestures to reporters) doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, 45 to 47 years.”
During the same meeting, Trump offered to “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who one of the sheriffs complained about.
“There’s a state senator in Texas that was talking about legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money,” the sheriff said. “And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed.”
“Who’s the state senator?” Trump asked. “Want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career.”
Watch the video below:
Sheriff tells Trump that state senator is doing something he doesn't like
Trump: "Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career." pic.twitter.com/75y3t9zc54
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) February 7, 2017
Featured image via screen grab. To follow Sky Palma on Facebook, click here.