Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
Bong-Man

Flint.....America's Wild West

Recommended Posts

http://www.detnews.com/article/20110706/METRO/107060354/Rampant-crime-gives-Flint-aura-of-wild-West

Rampant crime gives Flint aura of wild West

Financial woes force police cutbacks even as murders and arsons soar

Francis X. Donnelly/ The Detroit News

Flint— Nine abandoned homes were torched Monday and Tuesday, and a dozen burned in a four-hour period last month. The week before, a civil rights pioneer was killed in his upper-income neighborhood.

Two weeks earlier, one of the police mini-stations erected as a solution to rising crime was burglarized.

Once upon a time, these things shocked residents.

That was before Flint led the nation last year in burglaries, arsons, aggravated assaults and murders, according to FBI statistics.

It was before violent crime surged even higher this year.

And it was before the destitute city — once the third largest in Michigan — cut the number of police by two-thirds in three years.

Vehicle City, the nickname given Flint as the birthplace of General Motors, has become the state's version of Dodge City.

"This is the worst it's ever been," said Patty Pruett, 43, who has lived in Flint for most of her life. "It's a battlefield."

The grim statistics tell only part of the story.

Because police are shorthanded, it takes patrols hours to respond to calls and, when they do, they fail to solve many cases, officers said.

Even when police find suspects, they have no place to put them. The city jail has been shut for three years because of budget cuts, and the county jail is full.

Misdemeanor offenders who once were taken to jail now are given court summons that they routinely ignore, police said.

The criminals freely roam the streets while residents huddle in their homes like they're in prison, officers and citizens said.

"There's no place you want to walk after dark," said Cathy Klutts, 52, whose mom was killed last year. "What can you do?"

Her mom, Merlyne Wray, 73, was shot by a 14-year-old boy who had asked to use the phone in her Flint home, police said.

The situation has grown so dire that several politicians want to declare martial law and bring in the National Guard.

An editorial in the Flint Journal last year asked someone, anyone, to help the city.

Call the governor, beseeched the newspaper. Call other mayors and sheriffs. Call the president. Call Rudy Giuliani.

"It's a tide of death and destruction that keeps this city awash in blood and fear," the newspaper wrote.

From rich to poor

Before GM began leaving in 1978, Flint was a bastion of plentiful jobs that paid well. The bounty provided abundant city services and cultural institutions.

Within a decade, Flint became one of the poorest cities in the state with one of the highest jobless rates. Today, 1 in 5 residents is unemployed while one of three lives in poverty, according to state and census figures.

"GM went off and left us," said the Rev. Ray Dunlap, pastor of Eliezer Church of the Apostolic Faith. "After the jobs left Flint, crime went up."

On a heart-shaped lot behind the church, Dunlap, 82, created a memorial garden that contains 11 wooden crosses. Each lists the name of someone who was murdered. One was a minister.

The economic collapse led to the crime surge because the city had to cut police, residents said.

The city of 102,000 — now the seventh largest city in Michigan — has 124 police officers, according to Flint police unions.

That's 1.2 officers per 1,000 residents, easily the lowest rate in the state. The second lowest is Detroit at 3.9.

"I know the city is broke, but something needs to be done," said Tina Moreland, 52, whose daughter was killed last year. "It's too much to handle."

Moreland is raising her 6-year-old granddaughter because Sheena Smith, 22, of Flint was shot by a man who fired into a crowd during an argument she wasn't involved in.

Embattled Mayor Dayne Walling has likely come to rue a remark he made shortly after taking office in 2009.

He pledged to cut crime 10 percent the next year. Instead, Flint became the murder capital of the U.S.

During contract negotiations, the police refused to make concessions. Walling said the financially strapped city had no choice but to continue layoffs.

Walling, 37, who has publicly feuded with police and survived recall attempts, is facing a tough re-election campaign. Six people are opposing him in the August primary.

"It's ridiculous," said Marilyn Cain, 66, who began propping a table against her front door at night after her neighborhood had six murders in a year.

"The mayor needs to do something."

Walling declined comment for this article. Police Chief Alvern Lock didn't respond to phone calls or emails.

After the FBI released the crime statistics in May, state and county officials began talking to Flint about how they could help.

Last week, Michigan State Police doubled the number of troopers in the city from 10 to 20.

Also, the Genesee County Jail in Flint moved 85 of its 580 inmates to other lockups last month, allowing room for more people to be arrested in the city.

Despite all the crime, the long-moribund downtown has begun to shake awake in the past decade. It has attracted residents, several large companies and even reopened a hotel, The Durant, that had been closed for 32 years.

Feeling of lawlessness

With all of the other troubles faced by Flint, manhole covers have been disappearing.

Some 80 covers have been stolen in the past few months, probably for scrap, police said.

For residents, the lowly metal objects are an example of how nothing is safe from thieves. A feeling of lawlessness has seeped into the city's psyche, they said.

Doris Keels, 57, a community activist who works as a volunteer dispatcher at a police mini-station, worries about her grandchildren.

"They don't have a chance to be kids," she said. "You can't let them walk to the store alone because they might disappear."

In south Flint last week, Walt Samson, fixing his bicycle in the garage, stood to count the number of homes burglarized on his block. He stopped at six.

A woman down the street was killed when her son beat her with a frying pan. Two blocks away, Cathy Klutts' mother was killed.

As Samson spoke, a neighbor, his foot poking out the window of his car, drove through a stop sign without halting.

Samson, 56, who can't read or write, is protecting himself.

He extended his 4-foot fence by 2 feet; bought two Magnums, calibers .22 and .44; and owns four pit bulls. Sign on the doghouse: "Life is good."

"It's the police," he said. "They're not there. They're just not there."

In north Flint, a dozen young and middle-age men lingered outside Brothers' Food Center in the middle of the workday, oblivious to a "no loitering" sign.

One of the men, looking over his shoulder, handed money to a second man before receiving a packet he quickly pocketed.

A toddler on a tricycle, looking for his father, wheeled up to the group along the busy four-lane street.

A store clerk complained about the men, saying they panhandle, shoplift and get into fights. He said he calls the police every day but they hardly come.

The clerk's boss didn't want to talk about the problem.

"I don't want the store associated with this sort of thing," said owner Ramzi Farah.

fdonnelly@detnews.com

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you ? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amazing what can turn a city upside down in a short period of time when you lose your prime industry and employer. Not sure if they should have cut back on law enforcement. This doesn't seem like a bright idea. Didn't they think if they did that, things would get rather bleak with a high unemployment level would bring a surge in crime? Flint may want to reconsider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh...Life in the big city.

Brother, you can have it.

<_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flint is dead and gone and never coming back. A depopulation policy is required. Liquidate all city holdings. Use all monies raised to assist with relocating qualifying residents elsewhere. State and local authorities can partner with Greyhound and railways to move them and their possessions. The Governor can task the Michigan National Guard to execute what would essentially be a permanent evacuation.

Edited by SteveAJones

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2011 at 3:39 AM, SteveAJones said:

Flint is dead and gone and never coming back. A depopulation policy is required. Liquidate all city holdings. Use all monies raised to assist with relocating qualifying residents elsewhere. State and local authorities can partner with Greyhound and railways to move them and their possessions. The Governor can task the Michigan National Guard to execute what would essentially be a permanent evacuation.

**Big Bump**

They discussed taking your advice, but decided it would be easier and cheaper to just poison the water supply instead.  Back in 2011 when this was posted, the water supply came from deep in Lake Huron, and was the least of their problems.  Not getting on your case, I was just digging in the archives and found this post very ironic considering what transpired after, and why it happened.

It's kind of like all the discussions about global warming pro and con.  Maybe it would be best if that volatile subject was left alone.  Recent studies suggest 4 out of 10 Americans are breathing air equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  Isn't that statistic enough to convince people it's time to make some changes ?    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Bong-Man said:

**Big Bump**

They discussed taking your advice, but decided it would be easier and cheaper to just poison the water supply instead.  Back in 2011 when this was posted, the water supply came from deep in Lake Huron, and was the least of their problems.  Not getting on your case, I was just digging in the archives and found this post very ironic considering what transpired after, and why it happened.

It's kind of like all the discussions about global warming pro and con.  Maybe it would be best if that volatile subject was left alone.  Recent studies suggest 4 out of 10 Americans are breathing air equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  Isn't that statistic enough to convince people it's time to make some changes ?    

What? Our most trusted Vice President was just saying recently that we have the cleanest water and air of any country in the world... :rolleyes: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Bong-Man said:

**Big Bump**

They discussed taking your advice, but decided it would be easier and cheaper to just poison the water supply instead.  Back in 2011 when this was posted, the water supply came from deep in Lake Huron, and was the least of their problems.  Not getting on your case, I was just digging in the archives and found this post very ironic considering what transpired after, and why it happened.

It's kind of like all the discussions about global warming pro and con.  Maybe it would be best if that volatile subject was left alone.  Recent studies suggest 4 out of 10 Americans are breathing air equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  Isn't that statistic enough to convince people it's time to make some changes ?    

I clearly articulated eight years ago what to do with Flint and my mind hasn't changed. Whatever the current air quality is in America it's probably better now than it was 100 years ago.

28 minutes ago, Walter said:

What? Our most trusted Vice President was just saying recently that we have the cleanest water and air of any country in the world... :rolleyes: 

If that's a rebuttal it fails to rebut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I clearly articulated eight years ago what to do with Flint and my mind hasn't changed.

I never said it did or didn't, nor thought it would.

Quote

Whatever the current air quality is in America it's probably better now than it was 100 years ago.

If that's a rebuttal it fails to rebut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The mayor needs to do something."

The dreaded 'do something' disease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

I clearly articulated eight years ago what to do with Flint and my mind hasn't changed. Whatever the current air quality is in America it's probably better now than it was 100 years ago.

If that's a rebuttal it fails to rebut.

My statement to him, not you, was direct from the person who is second in command of this country. More lies. 

Heritage Foundation? NY Times report from 16 years ago, where W’s head of the EPA making more false claims? Get real. This is where my discussion with you ends when it comes to issues like this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Walter said:

My statement to him, not you, was direct from the person who is second in command of this country. More lies. 

Heritage Foundation? NY Times report from 16 years ago, where W’s head of the EPA making more false claims? Get real. This is where my discussion with you ends when it comes to issues like this. 

Whatever?

It's as plain as the nose on your face air quality in America is among the best in the world and arguably at it's highest quality since 1900. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, SteveAJones said:

Your confusion lies with associating 'cleaner air' with clean air.  The NYT link is from 2003, which encompasses among other steps, the 30 years after the banning of leaded gasoline.  

https://www.ecowatch.com/air-quality-united-states-low-2638932526.html?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2

100 years ago,  it's estimated that 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to the water supply alone.  This field called 'environmental science' made some great discoveries during the last century....ozone depletion, lead, DDT, etc.  If you feel the need to go back to the era of the sedition act, prohibition, a single galaxy universe, and good ole Woody to validate your modern environmental position, could you manage to do the same with temperature records for the last 150 years of the industrial revolution ?  I didn't think so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bong-Man said:

Your confusion lies with associating 'cleaner air' with clean air.  The NYT link is from 2003, which encompasses among other steps, the 30 years after the banning of leaded gasoline.  

https://www.ecowatch.com/air-quality-united-states-low-2638932526.html?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2

100 years ago,  it's estimated that 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S. were attributed to the water supply alone.  This field called 'environmental science' made some great discoveries during the last century....ozone depletion, lead, DDT, etc.  If you feel the need to go back to the era of the sedition act, prohibition, a single galaxy universe, and good ole Woody to validate your modern environmental position, could you manage to do the same with temperature records for the last 150 years of the industrial revolution ?  I didn't think so.

Honestly, I don't care enough to argue one way or the other. George Carlin succinctly expressed my thoughts on this perfectly. I will say this,  I can't believe an adult, not to mention a Presidential candidate, said in the last debate it's time to "start moving folks to higher ground". :sarcastic_hand:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Honestly, I don't care enough to argue one way or the other. George Carlin succinctly expressed my thoughts on this perfectly. I will say this,  I can't believe an adult, not to mention a Presidential candidate, said in the last debate it's time to "start moving folks to higher ground". :sarcastic_hand:

I hear you.  I'm almost 60 and childless.  I only have so much energy to devote to what I'll never see.  Agree with Carlin too, but the goal isn't to save the planet, but ourselves.  As far as making strategic plans to moving people to higher ground, maybe that's not such a crazy idea, as our own military is already way ahead of any of the political arguments...... https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2017/09/12/pentagon-is-still-preparing-for-global-warming-even-though-trump-said-to-stop/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe an adult, not to mention a Presidential candidate, said in the last debate it's time to "start moving folks to higher ground". :sarcastic_hand:

Only 12 years left. OAC. :sarcastic_hand:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...