Donald Trump on criminal justice: CNN’s Reality Check team vets the claims

Washington (CNN)Crime and guns are big topics in this presidential campaign. CNN’s Reality Check Team put Trump’s statements and assertions to the test.

The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN listened throughout the speeches and selected key statements, rating them true; mostly true; true, but misleading; false; or it’s complicated.
Reality Check: Trump on police officers killed
    July 21, 2016
    By Sonam Vashi, CNN
    “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year,” the Republican nominee said.
    Even with the recent, tragic shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the number of officers killed in the line of duty is actually about the same as this point last year, according to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page. If we look at just police killed by gunfire, 31 officers have been killed this year, compared with 17 killed in the first seven months of 2015. That’s an 82% increase.
    But using percent-increase stats for such small data sets can be misleading, and 2015 was one of the safest years for police officers in history. Regarding police officers killed by gunfire during the past decade, the annual average of deaths is about 50 per year. If police deaths continued at the current rate this year, we would expect about 56 police shooting deaths in 2016. That number is not too far from the annual average, even though fatal shootings of police are up from last year.
    To the families and friends of those slain police officers, the statistics likely do not matter.
    We’re going to rate Trump’s claim about police deaths as true, but misleading, because even though police shooting deaths are up by a significant amount from this time last year, they are not far off from the annual average.

    Reality Check: Trump on crime stats
    July 21, 2016
    By Sonam Vashi, CNN
    Trump also made several statement about crime statistics.
    “Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s 50 largest cities,” Trump said. “That’s the largest increase in 25 years.”
    That’s true. The Washington Post’s WonkBlog analyzed crime data for major cities and found that 770 more people, or 17% more, were killed in 2015 than the previous year, the biggest increase since 1990. Thirteen of the 50 cities analyzed had fewer homicides in 2015 than 2014, but homicides increased overall.
    An important caveat: The Post also says that the data shows “no single explanation for the increases and reveals no clear pattern among those cities that experienced the most horrific violence.” Additionally, 2015’s increase in homicides doesn’t reverse the decades of decline in murder rates nationally, notes FiveThirtyEight.
    Trump then said, “In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50%. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore.”
    According to Washington Post data, the homicide rate in Washington went up by 54% between 2014 and 2015, and Baltimore saw a 59% increase. However, homicides are down this year in DC by 9% over the same time frame, and down in Baltimore by 13%. So, while the numbers were up, they have turned down again resulting in our true, but misleading verdict.
    “In the President’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been the victims of shootings this year alone,” Trump continued. “And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.”
    The Chicago Tribune keeps track of the city’s shooting victims. As of Thursday, 2,224 people have been shot in Chicago. And, since 2009, 3,500 people have been killed in Chicago alone. Trump’s claim is true.
    Reality Check: Trump says Paris has the “strictest no-gun policy of any city anywhere in the world”
    Jan 14, 2016
    By Ryan Browne, CNN
    Donald Trump said the terrorist attacks in Paris last year happened despite the city having “the strictest no-gun policy of any city anywhere in the world.”
    However, in France, private gun ownership, while heavily regulated, is permitted.
    According to French law, to get any category one or four weapons, like a Glock pistol, you need to be 21, to have joined a shooting range for the last six months, provided a blank criminal record and a certificate of physical and mental health not older than two weeks. Then, the local police precinct starts a “morality investigation” in your neighborhood, according to French journalist Phillipe Coste.
    While French laws are restrictive, the gun laws in the UK are even more so. After a series of mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s, the UK passed a law effectively banning the private ownership of all handguns.
    According to the UK government’s Home Office 2015 “Guide on Firearms Licensing Law,” the British Firearms Act of 1968 and its 1997 modification “has meant the prohibition of handguns.”
    Verdict: False

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