Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bus Stop

Minneapolis has a murder problem right now; the city is on track to achieve 65 such crimes this year. That includes the recent bus murders, something we haven’t seen since 2001.

MNblue is, as the name implies, a Minnesota Democrat blog, and contributor Grace Kelly is quick to find a silver lining from a WCCO report on the most recent bus incident:

Kudos go to WCCO Ten O'Clock news for asking the really important question, something like "Is this an indication of greater crime rise on the bus systems or a unique incident?" The answer was that crime on buses was down 7% last year. And that the metro system just put on 4 more people to make the bus systems safer. So this is probably a unique incident and now the bus systems will be safer than ever. A salute to WCCO news.

Um, pardon me, but isn’t this a bit Pollyannish? Total bus crime was down last year, but we’re seen a resurgence of murders this year, and this is good? Statistical comparisons are fine provided you avoid a narrow focus that prevents you from seeing the whole picture. The recent bus violence may prove to be a unique blip. But given the backdrop of a surging violence in Minneapolis last year and this, I’d be wary of finding solace in such a telescopic analysis.

You can ‘Search’ for and view WCCO’s “Deadly violence on bus” video here.

By the way, the eclectic blog O So Minnesota does a good job keeping up with the Twin Cities crime scene.

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