As I pointed out in an earlier article, Vice President Joe Biden’s claims of higher murders and rapes happening if Republicans didn’t pass Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill is false and pure political theatrics. FBI crime statistics prove the loose-tongue Biden to be false, not to mention how many times have those in law enforcement actually arrived in time to stop a murder or rape? Never.
So, based on Biden’s claims, the Washington Post took him to task and found him to be a bold-faced liar.
“Let’s look at the facts: in 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes–just to pick two categories–climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields.”
–Vice President Biden, October 18, 2011
“In Flint, Michigan, they cut their force in half; murder rates have doubled in the last year…Police departments, as I said, in some cases literally cut in half, like Camden, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan. In many cities, the result has been — and it’s not unique — murder rates are up, robberies are up, rapes are up…I said rape was up, three times in Flint. There are the numbers. Go look at the numbers.”
–Biden, October 19, 2011, on Capitol Hill
In the battle over the administration’s jobs bill, Vice President Biden this week has been making the startling case that more people will be murdered or raped if the legislation is not passed. His argument is that in cities such as Flint, Mich., the murder and rape rates have soared as the police force has been cut back for budgetary reasons.
When challenged by a reporter from a conservative publication about his charge (see video below), Biden stood his ground and said without more money, “murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise.” As he put it, “Go look at the numbers.”
Okay, challenge taken. What do the numbers show?
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.