Chicago Police “Cooking the Books” on Homicide Stats


Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V

Copyright © 09-18-17

Politics is entering all facets of police work these days. Whether its chiefs and sheriff’s siding with liberal politicians to support Sanctuary City status and not cooperating with Border Patrol/ICE; chiefs ordering their officers to “stand down” against violent alt-left – alt-right and anarchist protesters; or chiefs siding up to the militant Black Nationalist, Marxist cop-hating Black Lives Matter movement; it just doesn’t end.

A new case in point are spokesholes at the Chicago Police Department making disingenuous statements to the local news media that their atrocious homicide rate is down 47% since this same time last year (August 2016 – August 2017). These statements are patently false and misleading on their face. However, “investigative reporting” is a thing of the past, so the media just swallows this tripe and moves on. How are we ever going to get the public to believe and support law enforcement if we continue to spin homicide statistics with them?

As a forensic criminologist, I specialize in the science, investigation and analysis of murder. So, here’s the scoop and REAL stats on Chicago’s recent and current murder rates.

In 2016, the City of Chicago experienced a total of 806 homicides, of which 720 persons were shot and killed. From January to the end of August of that year, there were a total of 512 people shot and killed in the city. Obviously, these are just the deaths. There were thousands more citizens who were shot and survived. If were to create an analogy of a “Shot Clock,” by the end of 2016, this would mean that a Chicago citizen was shot every 2:09 minutes and murdered every 10:29 minutes.

So far in 2017, the City of Chicago has experienced a total of 508 homicides, of which 471 of those individuals were shot/killed. Using our “Shot Clock,” this equates to a person being shot every 2:18 minutes and murdered every 12:17 minutes.

Now to put these murders into perspective, consider that the population of Chicago is just under 2.7 million people with a murder rate (2016) of just over 800 persons. The City of San Diego (CA) has a population of 1.4 million, but had only 50 homicides in 2016. The City of San Jose (CA) with a population one third the size of Chicago reported only 69 homicides in 2016. When these cities’ homicide rates are compared to Chicago’s, we see that even with Chicago’s greater population, it still has an inordinate murder rate that is nearly twelve times the murder rate of San Jose and sixteen times the murder rate of San Diego.

One does not need to be a math major to see that a difference between its 2017 homicide rate from January – September of 508 murders, is certainly far from a 47% decrease in murders police erroneously claim they had in 2016; when actual statistics document they had 508 murders. Again, just look back at our “Shot Clock” analogy and you can see that.

So, the questions are who is “cooking the books” at Chicago PD and is the city’s failing Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel giving police officials their media talking points. Either way, it is the citizens of Chicago and their beleaguered police department who are suffering here.

About the Author

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, is a forensic criminologist and law enforcement expert who directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations and Independent Review Team. He is the author of the book, “The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement and the War on Police,” ( His site is found at