Tuesday, January 2, 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!


  1. So.... what you're saying is the headline is actually accurate. Did overall DC area numbers fall (despite the rise in montgomery county)? Sounds like you're the fake news here.

  2. Here is a quote from Montgomery County Police Chief Manger from 2 weeks ago to WTOP:

    "When you’ve got victims who have had their limbs cut off and just mutilated in a way that we’re finding these bodies, it really does act as an indication that the violence is ramping up,” he told WTOP.

    Wow,is Chief Manger talking about finding these horribly mutilated bodies in some third world Country?El Salvador maybe? Nope! he's talking about these killings taking place right in the heart of Montgomery County!

  3. 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.

  4. @12:16:In your posted comment you say:

    "What an excellent opportunity this would have been to discuss the worthy issue of crime in the county."

    So why don't you start discussing it?

  5. Robert, this is a disappointing story you have written here. You falsely call the Post's number's false. And you compound your error by noting a 31% increase in Montgomery County murders, while neglecting to include the raw numbers that you include for other jurisdictions. This is misleading.

    As the Post reports:

    DC had 135 homicides in 2016, 116 in 2017.
    PG County dropped from 98 to 79.
    Fairfax held steady at 18.
    Montgomery County suffered 21 homicides in 2017, up from 16 in 2016, an increase of 5.

    An increase of five in Montgomery County, paired with decreases of 9 in PG and 19 in DC, do indeed indicate that DC-area homicides are dropping. This is not fake news; it is news. A moderate increase on a small base makes for a large percentage rise. This is not a scandal; it is math.

    For the record: From 2007 to 2015, the number of homicides in Montgomery County was: 19, 21, 12, 17, 16, 15, 8, 19, 30 (Source: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/POL/Resources/Files/MCPD%202016%20Annual%20Report(1).pdf p.4) In short: Montgomery County's 2017 homicide numbers are up from 2016, but way down from 2015, and are in line with numbers over the last decade, even as the population of the county has increased fairly substantially.

    Every homicide is a tragedy, and all levels of government should work to drop those numbers to zero. But your hysterical manipulation of these numbers is a disservice to your readers. I'm sure you can find plenty of things to reasonably complain about in this county. You can do better than this.

    Tom Moore

    1. Tom, what made the headline "fake" or deceptive was the failure to highlight Montgomery County as the outlier and exception to this positive headline. Whether we like it or not, a good number of readers will see that headline and believe it applies to all of us. In fact, the two largest jurisdictions around "the D.C. area," Montgomery and Fairfax, suffered an increase or did not have a reduction at all, respectively.

      So to have no positive progress in the two most populous counties, and claim success, is very misleading. Perhaps the phrase "fake news" should be retired, I agree. But we had a 31% increase, while Prince William had an 81% decrease, down to only 4 homicides.

      The article robotically cited the MoCo stats many, many paragraphs down in the article inside the pages. There should have been either a sub-headline noting the exception to the main headline, or a separate, smaller piece run alongside this one specifically about Montgomery and Fairfax. This is Journalism 101, or it should be.

      This ongoing coddling of our County officials is having a very negative effect on the quality of our government. MCPS, our private sector economy, public safety - all of these are trending downward in recent years.

      While you may not share my level of frustration with our elected officials, from hearing you speak during your time on the City Council, I know that you have a better sense of what local leaders need to do to promote growth in the modern, 21st century economy than any of our current County Council members.

      I think you would have to agree that, given our highly-educated population, wealth and assets, Montgomery County's private-sector economy should be booming, not stagnant. Even Hans Riemer's former chief of staff has used the term "stagnant" to describe it.

      So that's why I am very concerned about the trend in the Post to give our elected officials a free pass. We can clearly see the effects of this on our quality of life, and in the decline in quality of our County Council members since 2002.

  6. I think the problem is that Montgomery County is having a serious resurgence of MS-13 murders committed by Illegal Aliens.As well as Homicides commited by Illegal Aliens who are not members of MS-13.I would be happy to list the numerous and extremely brutal murders that have been committed by Illegal Aliens who are MS-13 members in Montgomery county.Did you hear about the one where the victims heart was cut out?

  7. Washington Post ran a front page story on December 21,2017 with the title:

    "Under MS-13,'people live in fear'
    Street gang keeps Md.community of Langley Park in it's grip with extortion,drugs and murder'

    The only people distorting facts are the ones claiming that things in Montgomery county are fine as far as crime and illegal immigration goes.the gangs are terrorizing whole neighborhoods in the county.

    1. Hysteria never solved anything.
      Over-exaggeration harms the cause more than it helps
      Langley Park is PG County
      You have obviously had some bad experience with someone and want to blame all illegals.
      There are more illegal good people than criminals
      Pity. Without the cartoonish hysteria, people might pay attention and not immediately dismiss what you have to say.

    2. Langley Park is not in PG county. It's MoCo, on the border of PG, going along University Blvd.

    3. @4:15: You are mistaken. Langley Park is absolutely in Prince Georges County.

      Wikipedia: Langley Park is an unincorporated area and census-designated place (CDP) in Prince George's County, Maryland.

      WTOP: Prince George's County fire officials say firefighters rescued five people, including a small child, from a burning apartment building in Langley Park.

      The Associated Press: For decades, Prince George's County had been criticized for neglecting Langley Park, a transient, low-income Latino neighborhood on its far northwest border.

    4. 3:20: I agree the majority of illegal immigrants are hardworking people who mean us no harm. The problem is, they themselves are being victimized again and again by the criminals among them. The County has admitted that 25% of the County jail population at any given time is gang members - virtually all of whom are here illegally. From that statistic, we can clearly see the percentage of criminals is far higher among the undocumented than among legal immigrants and citizens (which is why many pro-amnesty advocates always combine legal and illegal immigrant crime statistics to claim otherwise).

  8. @3:20:There is virtually no difference between Langley Park and Montgomery County,they border each other and MS-13 is prevalent in both Montgomery County and PG county.You may need to do a little more reading on the history of MS-13 in Montgomery County so you have a bit more education on the subject.15 years ago Montgomery County experienced a number of MS-13 related murders and criminal activity.Some of the murders were in PG County and some in Montgomery.There was a very large contingent of police and law enforcement assigned to investigate and arrest the gang members at that time,which did happen.Now,more than 15 years later,we are right back where we were,only the MS-13 killing is much worse this time because of two things:the gang was never truly eradicated back 15 years ago and we have had an enormous influx of illegal Aliens enter the County in the ensuing 15 years,many of them MS-13 members.You people who who say hysteria never solves anything are missing the issue:we gave seen this before and now it's 20 times worse.Just ask Chief Manger or States attorney McCarthy.You guys need to wake up.

    1. But this is the part I've never understood: You are absolutely correct that MS-13 is a serious problem. So why bother with cries of "FAKE NEWS"? Why try to insist that County officials are somehow responsible for things outside their jurisdiction? It makes no sense.

    2. County officials have been ignoring the gang problem with MS-13 for some time.Montgomery County is a Sanctuary County,that's why MS-13 is here.Maryland is basically a Sanctuary State which gives illegal Aliens valid drivers licenses,even though we have no idea who these people really are!It's insane,but that's a couple of reasons why Montgomery County is a magnate for illegal Aliens and especially illegal Aliens in gangs like MS-13.Also there has been a goid amount of inaccurate reporting in the mainstream media recently,a lot of "Fake News" just look what happened to Brian Ross from ABC News and you will see why he was suspended from his job for a month.CNN has had to retract many stories in the last year and apologize as well as fire people,so yes there is much inaccurate reporting in mainstream media,New York Times is a bad one for inaccurate and biased reporting and I read the New York Times every day!A lot of the time I have to ask myself why I do.I don't know Mr.Dyer and have never talked to him but I greatly appreciate what must be a lot of very hard work on his part to produce this blog.I think it's a great service he does.

    3. 8:19: But our County officials are indeed responsible for MS-13 in our jurisdiction. The gang's capos in El Salvador have openly stated they have chosen Montgomery County to wage a turf war against their new rival gang, specifically citing our sanctuary policy as key to recruitment among students and unemployed adults.

      I have to laugh when you say they have no responsibility - Montgomery County was caught with their pants down the week before Christmas failing to honor an ICE detainer on an MS-13 member, who was released back into the community. He ended up being killed days later as a result - at least if they'd allowed ICE to deport him, he'd still be alive.

    4. I thought you'd have a better understanding of the gang problem. It's all surface talking points, without deeper knowledge. Disappointing.

  9. Here's something I think we can agree on: More than anything, lumping MoCo's stats in with all the others is a sign that the Post should have more people covering local news. Had there been a story that was just about Montgomery County's statistics, it could well have come out very differently.

    Our understanding of our home county (and city, for that matter) is harmed by the lack of truly local news coverage.