Dangerous crime up 14% in Burlington

Blacks twice as likely to be arrested; traffic stops down 89%

By Guy Page

“Priority 1” crimes like arson, assault, overdoses and robbery rose 14.2% in Burlington in 2021, the first full year of the ‘Defund the Police” staff reductions measures, according to a May 20, 2022 report by city analyst Jonathan Larson.

Black people account for a higher percentage of arrests and are more than twice as likely to be arrested for a violent felony, the report said. 

The report’s key findings, published below, are excerpted from a statement issued May 24 by Mayor Miro Weinberger: 

  • Total number of incidents has declined, but Priority 1 incidents increased during 2021: BPD recorded 21,570 incidents in 2021, down 8.5% from 23,584 in 2020. This continues a trend in decreasing incidents, attributable to decreases in traffic stops, reported retail theft, and foot patrols. However, there were 2,081 Priority 1 incidents in 2021, which represents a 14.2% increase from the 1,822 incidents in 2020. Priority 1 incidents are the most urgent types, according to BPD’s Priority Response Plan, and include things like arson, assault, overdose, and robbery.  

There were 3,767 crimes recorded in 2021, up 10.2% from 3,418 in 2020. Of the 3,767 crimes in 2021, 382 were violent versus 398 in 2020.

  • Overall, arrests are declining, but Black individuals make up a higher percentage of total arrests and are more than twice as likely to be arrested for a violent felony.  Arrests have been decreasing since 2016. BPD made 987 arrests in 2021, down 14.0% from 1,148 in 2020. Across race, most arrestees are cited, meaning they are assigned a court date but not detained until that court date. Approximately 4.3% of incidents result in an arrest.  Approximately 75.8% of arrestees in 2021 were White and 20.5% were Black.
  • Police use of force increased from 2020’s historic low. Black individuals are more likely to be subjects of uses of force, including for non-violent crimes, but are less likely to be injured than white individuals. There were 188 uses of force in 2021, up 17.5% from 160 in 2020. Of the 187 uses of force in 2021 where race was known, 112 (59.9%) were against White people and 68 (36.4%) were against Black people. (For the purpose of this report, use of force includes all law-enforcement actions beyond compliant handcuffing.)

For White subjects of force, the most common type of force is “empty hand controls” (empty hand controls are use of force without a weapon). Black subjects, the most common type is pointing a firearm. About 15.4% of subjects of force are injured; White subjects are more likely to be injured than Black subjects.

Black arrestees for violent crimes have about the same risk of being the subject of force as White arrestees of violent crime. Black arrestees for non-violent crimes are more likely to be the subject of force than White arrestees of non-violent crime.

  • As a result of focus and change in departmental policy, overall traffic stops continue to decrease, helping address historical racial disparities:  Traffic stops have been decreasing steadily since 2015. In recent years, the Police Department has ceased its use of the lawful but controversial “pretextual stop” for random interdiction. A pretextual stop occurs when an officer pulls over a motorist for a minor traffic or equipment violation and then uses the stop to investigate a more serious crime.
  •  The number of officer-generated traffic stops has decreased approximately 89%, falling from 6,262 in 2015 to fewer than 700 last year. Across all races, most stops are for moving violations. Officers made 680 traffic stops in 2021; 586 were of White drivers, and 49 were of Black.  The proportion of Black drivers stopped (7.3%) is lower than their share of the driving population (10.6%), as estimated by crash data.

Categories: Burlington

14 replies »

  1. It is well known: you DO NOT want to spend any time in Burlington. Woke-ing-ton. Gunning-ton. Crumby-schoolsing-ton. Drugging-ton, Mir-ing-ton. Large-Pit-ing-ton. Defunding-ton. Vandal-ton. New-muralton. Lives-matterington. Ranked-choice-ing-ton. Weeding-ton. Hookering-ton. Zorying-ton. Magee-ing-ton. No police-chief-ing-ton. Paroling-ton. High-tax-ing-ton. Congesting-ton. Encamp-ing-ton. Expensing-ton. Freeloading-ton. Prouding-ton.

  2. Fact matter. The FACT that Black individuals are being arrested in numbers disproportionate to their percentage of the population will always be argued by some as prima facie evidence of systemic racism. These reactionary social justice warriors love to bring up that we need to “look for the root causes” of antisocial behavior. In the case of Burlington, the root cause is that most of those “People of Color” who are involved in violent crime and drug trafficking have been sent up here by their gangs to do business and the gangs have specific ethnic makeups that are different than the predominant racial makeup of Vermont. It’s not complicated, but the lefties in our midst will always try to make a race-guilt or “systemic racism” issue out of it. There is a reason that Vermont is (was) special, due to the low crime rate. When we become demographically more like Hartford CT and Springfield MA, we should not pretend to be surprised when the violent crime rate increases. If we want to call that “celebrating diversity”, then so be it.

    • @richlachapelle

      But VT assumes that we are so special and good and that is why our crime rates were historically so low. But as you pointed out, as the population demographic changes to be more like some of the other states in the northeast, our crime rate will change to be more like theirs as well. It was never because we were just so wonderful; more a reflection of who lived here.

  3. Lack of proper employment, prostitution and drugs brings the worst into this welfare state. I fear going to places w/ high population of blacks , especially foreign blacks from EU or Africa. Yes I can say that , I am black. Fear is fear. Thank God we have open/conceal carry here. Don’t leave home without it.

  4. These social justice warriors will continue to ruin this state in the name of group think. If they are gonna follow the play books of other liberal run US cities. I invite them to come take a ride on a NYC subway. You want to see the effects of these laws. Come visit. I will even host your stay. Then I’ll drop you off in the city. You run the risk of Rape, Murder, Assault, Robbery, etc. Then you will realize that the crimainls are back on the street the same day. Police hands are tied. Your out of luck if not dead. I go to Vermont to get away from it. Have done it my whole life. These legislators have no idea what they are doing. They just concock these bills to seems virtuous to their group think friends. It’s sad. Vermont is a beautiful place. With a lot of history and good people. I just don’t understand how a few people with no respect for the state or it’s people can create problems that don’t exist. They are inviting problems. The invitation is open. Come visit.

    • You nailed it! How did this happen? The voters, that’s how. You apparently can’t fix stupid and you can’t out run it or legislate against it. I was born here and have watched this destruction happen. As long as the voters stay deaf, dumb and blind it will continue. If there are no changes in our government this November, I’m starting my plan to get out.

  5. When you call BPD to report a crime or incident and are told to fill out the report/complaint online, it just tells me not to put too much stock in that “decrease in total number of incidents” number…

  6. Stopped into 5 guys recently around 8PM recently. Place looked like a prison cafeteria and there were 2 cop cars outside where they questioning someone. It’s becoming noticeably unsafe in the queen city.

  7. Way to go Burlington Vermont! Institute gun free zone, hoist Black Lives Matter banners and flags everywhere, get all the money perks awarded by the Legislature, and see the crime rate double in two years – super-duper wokeness has served your community super well!

  8. Burlington was known as the ” Queen City” now it’s the ” Crime City ” this is what happens when
    you have a city council that’s packed with liberal fools, they can’t solve one thing that’s wrong
    in the City, things they caused from an inept knowledge base.

    These clowns promote the BLM agenda, painting up main street, and flying their flag, yes
    liberals on a white guilt trip, if they really believed that ” Black Lives Matter ” they would be
    headed to cities like Chicago with its daily black-on-black bloodletting….. nope hypocrites !!

    Don’t worry Burlington, your city will end up just like Chicago, as you’re importing the thugs
    already, just look at all the shootings in the City ……. yup ……… thugs of color !!!

    Wake up, Burlington………….

  9. Black people commit more crime. There. Easy enough to understand? I have an African American in my family. Wasn’t involved in drugs, in gangs, & went to college and beyond. Interestingly, he has never had ANY type of run in with the police.

    If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. And nix the leftist hype & bologna re: police discrimination – it’s manipulative & most aren’t buying it, sorry.

  10. Interestingly they forgot to mention that the police in this state were not allowed to stop anyone due to covid. Time for the BLM rhetoric and flags and yard signs need to come down. If these shootouts are happening at 0430, they can happen a 430 in the afternoon. Wait until the tourists show up this summer. Something terrible is bound to happen. Since city council and the progressives/socialists beat the drum of defund the police, they should be made to walk the streets after 2am with those cops to keep them safe!!! The mayor needs to be held accountable for their actions or grow a pair!!

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