Vice President Biden has been making headlines, this week, with his startling case that more people will be murdered or raped if Obama’s jobs bill isn’t passed. The Washington Post Factchecker, Glenn Kessler has done a thorough job dismantling Joe Biden’s repeated contention that in cities such as Flint, Mich., the murder and rape rates have soared because of fewer officers due to police force budget cuts.
Flint is certainly a violent city, ranked number one in many categories. The website of the Flint Police Department only gives data through 2008, but both the FBI and the Michigan State Police have more recent figures that are provided to them by the Flint police. The numbers are not precisely the same because of different reporting requirements, but they are roughly the same—and show a different picture than reported by Biden.
The Flint website for 2008 shows the same figures that Biden cited: 35 murders and 91 rapes.
Here’s what the FBI shows:
City of Flint: 32 murders, 103 rapes
Surrounding area: 37 murders, 239 rapes
RATE PER 100,000 INHABITANTS: murder, 8.6; rape 55.5
City of Flint: 36 murders, 91 rapes
Surrounding area: 44 murders, 235 rapes
RATE PER 100,000 INHABITANTS: murder, 10.3; rape, 55.1
City of Flint: 53 murders, 92 rapes
Surrounding area: 58 murders, 225 rapes
RATE PER 100,000 INHABITANTS: murder, 13.8; rape 53.7
More important than the raw figures is the rate per 100,000 individuals. Murder did go up—though the rate did not double from 2009 to 2010, as Biden claimed. But rape has gone down. Biden actually asserted it had tripled.
What more, Kessler notes that Flint Public Safety Director Chief Alvern Lock, has repeatedly asserted that cuts in staffing had little effect on the crime rate.
As the Flint Journal reported in May: “Officials said the fact that 46 police officers were laid off last year had little to do with the escalating crime. Most of the crimes were between people that knew each other. ‘No matter how many officers we have, we can’t stop disputes between two people in their own homes,’ Lock said.”
Lock made a similar assertion in September, 2010, when FBI statistics were released showing violent crime in Flint had decreased in 2009. The Flint Journal reported: “A smaller police force doesn’t automatically mean more crime, said Flint police chief Alven Lock. ‘There’s been years when we had 300 officers and we still had more homicides,’ he said, referring to 1986, when he was in the homicide division and homicides hit an all-time high of 61.”
Kessler gives Biden’s claim that rape and murder rates are way up because of budget cuts four Pinocchios, (whoppers).
…the vice president should know better than to spout off half-baked facts in service of a dubious argument. Even if one believes there is a link between crime and the number of police—which is debatable and subject to many caveats—there is no excuse to make the dramatic claim that more people will die or be raped without additional funds for police. When making such a breathtaking charge, you had better have your facts straight.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney doubled down on the stupid, when a reporter asked him about Biden’s rape and murder claims:
Carney: “It would be hard to find anyone who doesn’t believe in the equation that fewer police officers on the street has a direct effect on the crime rate.”
Flint Police Chief Lock: “No matter how many officers we have, we can’t stop disputes between two people in their own homes.”
Carney: “Are Republicans arguing that is no correlation between the number of cops on the beat, and the crime rate? That would be an interesting argument to hear. It would be a new one – a novel one…”
Flint Police Chief Lock: “A smaller police force doesn’t automatically mean more crime. ‘There’s been years when we had 300 officers and we still had more homicides”
Four Pinocchios for Carney, too.
As you may have already heard, the Senate rejected what Rush Limbaugh calls the “President’s anti-rape anti-murder bill”, last night. So all the absurd propaganda Obama and Biden have been spouting has been a colossal waste of political capital. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
For all the propping up Obama has enjoyed from the MSM, his approval numbers compared to Bush’s first three years are truly stunning, according to this Gallup tracking chart. The American people are more resilient to left-wing propaganda than than the Obama administration would like.
Comment of the Day:
Found in the most unlikely of places – HuffPo, in a seemingly unrelated piece by Diane Diamond getting the HuffPo crowd up to speed on Fast and Furious:
It’s amazing that Joe Biden is screaming that people will be raped or murdered if the republican’s don’t pass Obama’s jobs bill (even though dems also refuse to pass it) when here we have the Obama administration directly responsible for the murder of a border agent and countless others with almost no coverage from the press. It is very scary when the media is in the government’s pocket and I must say that I was very pleasently surprised to see this article on the Huffington Post.
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers
Linked by Doug Ross Larwyn’s Links, thanks!