Chicago police play tricks with crime stats to lower crime numbers, report says

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CHICAGO - The Chicago Police Department is defending the way it reports crime statistics after a published report accuses the department of manipulating numbers.

Reporters with Chicago Magazine say they analyzed police crime data for 2014 and they found that there were 436 homicides last year.

That's higher than the 407 reported by the Chicago Police Department.

Chicago Magazine says CPD changes the classifications of crimes to lower the overall numbers. For example, a homicide will be classified as an "undetermined death". A spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney says if a death isn't labeled as a homicide, then homicide charges can't be filed in the case.

The Chicago Magazine report is a follow-up to a report on the under-counting of murders last year.

Chicago Police spokesman Martin Maloney responded to the claims in an email to WGN-TV.

He wrote:

The Chicago Police Department is a national leader on data transparency and voluntarily publishes more data than most or all large police departments. We have full confidence in the numbers we provide while remaining committed to constantly evaluating and improving our data reporting practices. We welcome questions about how we report crime.

To read the full report, click here.

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