Our Crime Boss series has been enormously popular with our readers. They love it. They talk to me all the time about it. I know it’s not very popular with our elected city council members as they try, unbelievably, to explain how they’re not responsible for the crime in their districts. Then what did we elect them for?!
I know it’s not popular with our city council members because they often communicate to our reporters that they will not provide comments to them for any article specifically because of our Crime Boss series.
While I would much rather have a friendlier relationship between our staff and those city leaders, what comes first is holding them to account. And if holding them to account means they won’t be friendly, then that’s OK.
The Dallas Express, while wanting to be friends with everyone in the community, was not created for that purpose. It was launched to make our city a better place, and that begins with holding our elected leaders to account.
We have brought to the fore in this publication the serious crime problem in Dallas. The one that our politician friends continue to try and hide.
What’s astonishing to me is the lack of reporting on which specific communities in our city bear the brunt of the crime problem. And when it comes to crime, there is no crime quite as bad as murder.
Despite all the talk about providing a helping hand to our all friends in the black community, we never hear about the fact that black people are overwhelmingly the victims of murders in our fair city. Tragically so.
Black people comprise approximately 24% of the city’s population, but are a whopping 64% of the murder victims! That gives rise to another crime … the crime of not bringing this embarrassing, horrible, and shameful statistic to the forefront.
I think by now our readers understand that we at The Dallas Express have no problem speaking truth to power, unlike the other publications in town.
We are not bought off by “advertisers” or “donations” to put forth a certain view. Other publications are littered with flattering articles about topics and people that pay them … and as a result, the truth is suppressed. Not here. Not ever.
So, every month, we are going to look at the ugly fact of all the murders in town, and how the murder victims are disproportionately our friends in the black community. Because that is an outrage and it needs to stop.
I ask the good people on the city council, the mayor, the police chief, and the district attorney’s office to pay attention and do something about this terrible problem.
Someone asked me the other day about what best could be done for the black community in our city. My answer was not sarcastic when I replied, “Stop having black people killed all the time for starters.” So, can we try that? Can we try not having so many people, especially black people, killed all the time?
The Dallas Express is hereby launching a new graphic as part of our monthly Crime Boss series. We do so both to spotlight the damage of the lawlessness plaguing our streets and to face the uncomfortable truth about who those victims are.
Our new City of Dallas Murder Victims graphic provides a year-to-date total as well as a demographic breakdown of the people who needlessly lost their lives within the city limits.
As of December 13, there have been 205 murder victims, the overwhelming number of whom were black or Latino.
Not counted in the graphic, however, are the 20 justifiable homicides that occurred in Dallas year-to-date, though this additional number of killings speaks to the danger residents face on their city streets.
In conjunction with our Crime Boss series, The Dallas Express hopes the Murder Victims graphic will bring a sense of urgency to city leaders who have for too long allowed violent crime to go unchecked at the cost of 205 lives this year.
Below are some questions and answers regarding the new graphic now to be featured on our homepage.
Where does your data come from?
The Dallas Express uses publicly available sources: the Dallas Open Data resource for Crime Boss reporting and the Crime Analytics Dashboard when reporting on specific incidents. These are both City of Dallas sources.
Why do you use two different data sets to determine your Crime Boss numbers and your Murder Victim numbers?
The Dallas Express uses the Dallas Open Data resource for Crime Boss reporting as it provides the most granular, accessible data by district and crime type. For our murder victim graphic, we use the Crime Analytics Dashboard as it is the authoritative resource on crime per the Dallas Police Department.
While the Dashboard is the more accurate and up-to-date City resource, it lacks granularity — not providing us with the district-level data needed for it to be used in Crime Boss.
For this reason, The Dallas Express relies exclusively on the Crime Analytics Dashboard when reporting on specific crimes and uses the Dallas Open Data resource to compute our monthly composite crime scores.
Why do you only count year-to-date (YTD) and not monthly murders on the Murder Graphic?
While the Crime Analytics Dashboard does update its total murder count as well as the related demographic information daily and provides a total murder count for each month, it does not provide a daily or monthly demographic breakdown, only a YTD.
How often will the murder graphic be updated?
The Dallas Express will update this graphic each month when a new Crime Boss is named.