How dangerous is Minneapolis?

It is no secret that the crime rate has been rising in Minneapolis, as it has in many cities in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the war on cops and the Obama administration’s anti-incarceration policies. But many Minnesotans were surprised when Minneapolis landed on a list of the 25 most dangerous cities in America, on the web site 24/7 Wall St. The Minneapolis Star Tribune, true to form, downplayed the ranking:

Minneapolis is the 25th most dangerous city in the country, according to a report published by 24/7 Wall St., a news and opinion website.

As alarming as that might sound, those who monitor crime view such rankings warily. …

Chicago, which had the most homicides of all U.S. cities in 2015, didn’t crack the top 25 most dangerous cities on the list. …

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, doesn’t buy that Minneapolis is the 25th most dangerous city in the country “when you don’t see Chicago on that list.”

But 24/7 Wall St.’s list was not a subjective ranking. They simply listed the cities over 100,000 in population that had the highest violent crime rates per the FBI’s just-published data for 2015. Minneapolis was #25, with 1,062.9 per 100,000 population. Violent crime includes murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Minneapolis is particularly bad with respect to robbery, where it has the 10th highest rate of any city.

What about Chicago? Despite that city’s high homicide rate, it turns out that overall, Chicago has fewer violent crimes, for its size, than Minneapolis.

But you don’t need to conclude that Minneapolis is more dangerous than Chicago to be concerned about the city’s rising crime rate and its ranking among the 25 highest violent crime rates in the country. The Twin Cities press has a bad habit of cheerleading rather than viewing issues objectively. If you want happy talk about the Twin Cities and about Minnesota, it is always easy to find in the local papers. But papering over problems isn’t helpful, if the goal is to solve them.