Thursday, January 04, 2007

Laissez les mal temps roulez

Via the Swilling:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Days after the police chief said he believed his department was bringing murders under control in New Orleans, the city logged at least five killings in 14 hours.

"At least," because there was a sixth murder, a woman "whose body showed trauma but whose death had not been classified." So, why do I say murder in her case?

The unclassified death was that of a woman whose body was found wrapped in a rug in the Lower Ninth Ward. [emphasis mine - nf]

Those who come by their deaths naturally are not stashed in rugs and dumped out for the neighbors to find.

This whole "under control" thing doesn't even stand up to basic math. The article states that 161 people were murdered in the city in 2006 - a total of 53 in the final three months. Lessee... that's a rate of 212 per annum, which means that the rate shot up in the final quarter. What is your conclusion?

A - new initiatives have brought the problem under control in recent months.
B - new initiatives have done diddly-spit.

If you said B, you are better at math than Superintendant Walter Riley, who went with A on Monday, and then left police spokesman Bambi Hall to give the numbers from October to December the very next day.

Granted that fourteen hours is a small sample size for the New Year. You may prefer the numbers from full years instead: a murder rate that topped the nation's cities in 2002 and 2003; from a total of 159 homicides in 1999, to 265 in 2004. Only 210 in 2005, most likely because Katrina emptied the place out to end the year and brought a lot of attention to those remaining, making it more difficult to slay one's neighbors. Still - more in 2006 with half of a city they had seven years previous?

It starts from the top, kids:

For the last time, dammit, I'm NOT Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!
No doubt he's handing out free chocolate milk to symbolize his deeply-held principles.

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