Flint: From “Vehicle City” to Murder Capital

Over thirty years ago, Flint was booming. Now, it’s imploding. One in five residents is unemployed and the city leads the nation in violent crime rates. Citizens are scared and police seem to be unable to do anything about it.

Last year, according to the FBI, Flint Michigan led the country in murders, aggravated assaults, arsons, and burglaries. Hardly a feat worth bragging about. Poverty, no doubt, has played a role. But so has the fact that the city is surviving with the lowest cop to citizen ratio in the state.

In the past three years, the city has had to reduce their police force by 2/3. There are 1.2 cops for every 1,000 citizens. Detroit has the second lowest rate with a comparatively dramatic 3.9 officers per 1,000 residents. Flint’s population is about 102,000 and their police force numbers 124 officers.

Mayor Dayne Wallling took office in 2009 with a promise that he would cut crime by 10%. But in part because the police refused to make concessions during budget talks, layoffs had to resume. Walling will subsequently face a tough reelection this year.

According to the Detroit News, the people of Flint are either terrorized or apathetic about the situation. They take extra effort in protecting their homes—like buying new pitbulls, erecting taller fences, buying guns, or blocking their doors with heavy furniture. Some, however, use the lack of enforcement to breeze through stop signs and sell drugs in plain view on the corners.

How the city will deal with this epidemic of crime and carelessness isn’t clear. When communities are filled with people who can’t find work because the industries that their city was built off of are now gone, the entire city suffers. While the Detroit News points out some downtown districts are picking up—city officials refused to comment for the story, showing they have no better answers than anyone else.

There is a group of people within Flint who now too well that those 124 officers can manage to get some work done—those are the people behind bars facing charges. And despite their presence in the murder capital of the country, they are innocent until proven guilty.

When you are arrested, it can feel like you’ve already been judged. But you are entitled to certain rights under the Constitution, rights that a defense attorney is there to ensure are protected. If you are facing any type of criminal charges in Flint or across Michigan, contact out attorneys today.

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