Short-term spikes are statistically unreliable, especially if they come after a long-term decline, and could just be a blip, said Dr James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston.
“It’s a ridiculous silly game of focusing too much on too little, trying to ascribe it to something like the impact of [events in] Ferguson,” said Mr Fox. “None of these statistics are reliable.”
A wider window of statistics would be much more reliable than a handful of figures representing January to May of this year, he said.
That flattened feeling police officers are having in Baltimore? It will pass, Dr Fox said.
“I don’t want to minimise the tragedy of so many dying… but the sky is not falling,” he said.