Wednesday, June 1, 2011
FBI under-reporting Violent CRIME?
By Reginald Kaigler (DEMCAD)
I met with author Edward McClelland again. He's the author of the book "Young Mr. Obama." A year ago, I provided him with a tour of my hometown Flint, MI. We've talked about crime in Flint before, but recently the FBI declared Flint, MI to be the most violent city in America. I've predicted as much as early as December 2010. Statistically, the FBI under-reported the severity of the violence in Flint. The bureau claimed that Flint only had 53 homicides in Flint, MI. Now obviously, that is an extremely high number for a city with only 109,000 people. In fact, it's homicide rate far exceeded the second dangerous city (Detroit, Michigan). But as I told Edward, mlive.com has proven that Flint had at least 61 homicides in 2010.
Edward asked why Michigan had the top two cities in violent. The answer is simply. After the auto industry took a dive, the tax base dried up, the middle class fled the city and left a large class of poor and jobless youth. There simply aren't any opportunities for young people in Detroit and Flint and their parents don't have the resources to send them to decent schools or move them out of the area.
So that leaves one big question: If the FBI under-reported Flint's crime, what other cities are being under-reported? When I was earning my BA in criminal justice at the University of Michigan-Flint, I was taught that murder rates were usually accurate, because it's hard to hide bodies. But clearly, the FBI has been under-reporting homicides. So how did they exclude the extra murders?
FBI claimed that violent crime dropped 5.5 percent in 2010 while reported property crimes decreased by 2.8 percent. So when if the FBI has been low-balling other crime numbers? We know that police departments have been cutting back, so is it possible that property crimes are going down because there aren't even cops to answer calls?
For those of you who doubt that the FBI's homicide number is wrong, please view the chronological report of Flint's 2010 homicides. The names and dates are listed for each victim. I was living in Flint throughout 2010 and I remember reading about 2010 breaking the all-time high for number of homicides in Flint history. This town has been dangerous for the last 3 decades, but now it's getting worse.
I encourage you to view my interview with Edward about Chicago politics and Obama's early life.
A chronology and map of Flint's 2010 homicides
Crime is down, but these cities are still dangerous