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Justice

How to Stop Misreading Homicide Statistics

Yes, some U.S. cities have experienced an uptick in murders this summer. Here’s what that doesn’t mean.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyThis July 30, 2015 picture shows a blighted home in west Baltimore. Murders are spiking in Baltimore—but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a trend.

On Tuesday, The New York Times joined other outlets in addressing a recent spike in homicides in a number of U.S. cities, and in so doing entertained suggestions that Black Lives Matter might be to blame.

"Law enforcement experts say disparate factors are at play in different cities, though no one is claiming to know for sure why murder rates are climbing," theTimes reported. "Some officials say intense national scrutiny of the use of force by the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals, though many experts dispute that theory."