JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An ad supporting Jacksonville City Council member Anna Brosche’s bid to challenge Lenny Curry in the mayoral race criticizes Curry’s record on crime, but the claims and the reporting behind them raise serious questions.
JACKSONVILLE LED FLORIDA IN MASS SHOOTINGS
The reporting behind this claim is incomplete.
The ad flashes the words, “Jacksonville led Florida in mass shootings during 2018, stats show.”
That's a headline from a Jan. 16 News4Jax article.
The article cites data from the Gun Violence Archive, an organization that tracks mass shootings across the country.
The numbers show Jacksonville and Miami both had 5 mass shootings in 2018, but the article does not mention Miami at all.
The most-accurate information is that Jacksonville AND Miami led Florida in mass shootings during 2018, according to the Gun violence archive statistics.
THREE YEARS LATER, VIOLENCE IS UP
Available numbers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement support this claim.
“Mayor Lenny Curry promised a safer city,” the text appears on the ad. “Three years later, Jacksonville’s violence is up.”
This cites an article by Andrew Pantazi, of The Florida Times-Union, from Nov. 30.
This image shows, a list of year-to-year statistics compiled by First Coast News reflecting data available at the time the article was written. It was cross-referenced with FDLE numbers that separate incidents reported by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office versus other agencies in Duval County.
IS JACKSONVILLE AMONG THE LEAST-SAFE CITIES?
It’s up to the audience to decide if this is misleading, but it lacks important context.
“Jacksonville among least safe major cities in US, report says.” This text also appears on the ad, referencing a Dec. 5 News4Jax article with the same headline.
The report cites a WalletHub study that measures 182 cities based on crime, but also natural disasters and things like unemployment and credit scores.
The study ranks Jacksonville 111th, which means it ranks as more-safe than 72 cities on the list.
In fact, four Florida cities, Miami (131), Orlando (164), St. Petersburg (167) and Fort Lauderdale (181) are listed as being less-safe than Jacksonville.