Mayor's Fuzzy Math Claims San Jose Gang Crime Down

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed says gang-related crimes have dropped 70 percent this year, but what he's not telling the public: He's just comparing two months of the year.

Reed spoke about the decrease in gang crime Friday morning at his gang task force meeting.

"It's a national model for a reason, because it works," said Reed about San Jose's gang task force reducing crime.

Reed's 70 percent number refers to the difference between total crimes in January 2014 and September 2014, with January being the highest this year, and September the lowest. He ignored crimes occurring in the months in between. It's unusual to draw conclusions from two different times of year in this way, but Reed says it's just simple math.


"I think anyone who has taken math can look at those numbers and see that we've had a significant decrease in gang crime this year, from 28 in January, to eight in September."

The months between January and September tell a different story. For instance, gang-related robberies dropped from eight to one between January and September, but these crimes spiked in February and March. In total, there were 36 gang-related robberies in this time period. That's up 63 percent from last year over the same time period.


This year, there were seven homicides, just under eight over the same period last year. As for aggravated assaults, police say they changed the way they categorize those crimes, so it's not accurate to compare this year's numbers to last year's.

Looking only at homicides, rapes and robberies, violent crime is actually up 42 percent.

"People can look at the data for themselves," Reed said. "They don't have to take my word for it. The math is the math."

The Investigative Unit uncovered last year that SJPD misled the public by inappropriately comparing gang homicide statistics. The police chief later apologized. SJPD told the Investigative Unit on Friday that it only makes comparisons year to year.

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