So, first thing that happened was that Trump made an ambiguous and poorly-worded remark about Sweden’s crime and how it relates to immigration:
…[T]here’s also a problem with Trump that I see in [his statement] “you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.” I understand the explanation. He meant that if you looked at TV the previous night, you could have seen a segment on Tucker Carlson that was about Sweden. That eliminates the confusion caused by his slightly screwy language that had lots of people wondering about something that supposedly had just happened in Sweden.
Trump isn’t just not lawyeresque in his speech (and since most people hate the way lawyers speak, they probably consider that a good thing); he’s often so imprecise and vague that the MSM and opponents can project whatever meaning they want into his statements. Now, this would happen anyway, but why give them so much of a golden opportunity? Why not make them work a little harder, and be less plausible in their misinterpretations?
But that’s not Trump’s way. I see it as a problem, although I’m sure a lot of Trump supporters see it as a plus, and see him as leading his opponents to make stupid statements themselves and having to correct them later. The trouble is that the correction doesn’t always reach all that many people.
So, what happened just a few hours after this particular war of words? Riots in areas of Sweden in which many immigrants live:
The [predominantly immigrant] neighborhood, Rinkeby, was the scene of riots in 2010 and 2013, too. And in most ways, what happened late Monday night was reminiscent of those earlier bouts of anger. Swedish police apparently made an arrest around 8 p.m. near the Rinkeby station. For reasons not yet disclosed by the police, word of the arrest prompted a crowd of youths to gather.
Over four hours, the crowd burned about half a dozen cars, vandalized several shopfronts and threw rocks at police. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom confirmed to Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper that an officer fired shots with intention to hit a rioter, but did not strike his target.
The issue about which Trump was originally speaking was whether the influx of immigrants in recent years has increased crime in Sweden. The WaPo takes pains to offer a statistic that says no: “The newspaper Dagens Nyheter analyzed crime statistics between October 2015 and January 2016 and came to the conclusion that refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all incidents.” But as Hot Air points out, that’s somewhat misleading:
Sweden’s overall crime rate is down since 2005 despite having admitted many thousands of migrants and refugees in the years since. Preliminary data for 2015-16 also shows no rise in overall crime, but it did show a rise in assaults and rapes accompanied by a drop in drug crimes and theft. (Sweden hasn’t published crime stats showing an offender’s immigration status for more than a decade.) One Swedish criminologist interviewed by the Times conceded that immigrants are overrepresented among offenders, “particularly in more serious and violent offenses,” but that many victims of crime are immigrants too, which is what you’d expect.
I think that perhaps the most interesting thing in that paragraph is that Sweden stopped compiling statistics on immigrants and crime over ten years ago. This had to have been purposeful. It certainly has had the effect of obscuring the issue and making it even more difficult to say anything intelligent about it. Lumping all crimes together and then seeing if there’s been a general increase or decrease tells you almost nothing about what proportion of crimes are committed by immigrants and what types of crimes are involved.