New reporting system could decrease homicide numbers for Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department is changing the way homicides are classified in the Bluff City after 228 homicides in 2016.

MPD is making a new policy that would de-classify some of those homicides.

For example, in 2016 there were 18 justified homicides. With the new policy, justified homicides will not be added to the homicide list.

"In the past we have reported everybody that has occurred for that calendar year," MPD Lt. Col. Don Crowe said.

But, Crowe said the system they are considering with Director Mike Rallings for 2018 would change that and would reflect the same numbers the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reports.

"TIBR meaning Tennessee Investigative Based Reporting, as required by TBI and the FBI," Crowe said.

He said with this reporting, cases such as justifiable homicide, fetal death, etc. wouldn't be included. That lowers the number of murders on paper.

That portion of the policy does not sit well with Janelle Harris. Harris' 15-year-old daughter was pregnant when she was killed in March 2016.

"I don't think that's fair at all because simple fact that also was also a human growing inside my baby," Harris said. "So it can be less homicides."

Crowe said that isn't the case.

"It's something we've discussed for several years in a row," Crowe said.

He said the changes would make statistics more uniform and easier to report. The TBI has a complete list of the changes.

We have reached out to the TBI and are waiting to hear back from them.

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