GA Bureau of Investigation publishing fake homicide rates
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation [GBI] is publishing statewide homicide rates that are probably about 66% of the actual homicide rate. It is our opinion that they are doing is tantamount to fraud.
The GBI says that there were 618 homicides in 2020 for a rate of only 5.7 per 100k. Various media outlets have previously reported that Georgia had 946 homicides in 2020 for a rate of 8.8.
Based on CDC data, even 946 seems low. The CDC reports 1,206 assault homicides for 2020. Generally, official homicide totals for a state are around 85% of the CDC assault-homicide total. The CDC includes justifiable self-defense homicides and others that are not included in state data. Also, remember that many cities have been tightening the rules about what constitutes an official homicide to make their homicide rates lower.
Looking at the FBI’s UCR database is little help. This is because the number of Georgia police departments submitting data to the FBI plunged in 2020.
So far, we have discovered that the GBI stopped counting homicides from Savannah and Augusta in 2020 and 2021.
The GBI reported 23 homicides in Richmond & Columbia Counties (Augusta) in 2019. Then 0 in 2020 and 0 in 2021. The city of Augusta had 32 in 2021.
The GBI reports 24 homicides in Chatham County (Savannah) in 2019, Then 8 in 2020, and 3 in 2021. The Savannah police department reported 24 homicides in 2019, 31 in 2020, and 34 in 2021. Note that Chatham also includes Garden City, a majority non-White suburb that has high crime. Garden City reported 2 homicides to the FBI in 2021, 5 in 2020, and 0 in 2019. This small suburb accounts for most of the Chatham County total shown by the GBI for 2020 and 2021.