Former President Trump said that Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis “is overseeing one of the greatest murder and violent crime DISASTERS in American History” when announcing his planned surrender Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Willis has “allowed Atlanta to become one of the most dangerous cities anywhere in the world,” Trump posted the day he and 18 others were indicted there last week. He said Willis “allowed Atlanta (Fulton County) to become a record setting Murder and Violent Crime War Zone.” However, violent crime is down more than 20% compared to this time last year. Data analyzed by the Journal-Constitution show claims by Trump and his allies regarding Atlanta crime are misleading at best.
Reports of violent crime in Atlanta – homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults – decreased 9% from 2021 to 2022. Property crime, including shoplifting, and motor vehicle theft, increased just 1%. For the first time in four years, homicides were down across Atlanta as city leaders bolster youth outreach programs in an effort to curb deadly violence. The shift follows Mayor Andre Dickens’ efforts aimed at combating violence, particularly among youths. Criminologist Thaddeus Johnson of Georgia State University cautioned against reading too much into year-to-year comparisons, especially following the rise in violent crime during the pandemic. Comparing Atlanta police data from 2016 to 2022, Atlanta’s most pressing issues come into focus. Homicides and aggravated assaults were both up about 50% from 2016 to 2022. Claims that Willis, who took office on Jan. 1, 2021, is responsible for an increase in violent crime aren’t valid, Johnson said.