Biden claims that without new jobs bill that crime will rise
. . . "Let's look at the facts," Biden said. "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. God only knows what the numbers'll be this year for Flint if we don't rectify it," he said.
Biden made the comments as part of an effort to talk up the Obama administration's $447 billion American Jobs Act, which stalled in the Senate Tuesday night. The package includes $5 billion for police and first responders.
FBI statistics show that the number of law enforcement officers in Flint has sharply declined over the last few years, as Biden said. The number went from 201 in 2008 to 132 in 2010. If civilian employees are counted, the numbers are a bit closer to what Biden cited.
The rise in violent crimes like murder and rape, however, was not as drastic as Biden suggested, according to FBI statistics.
The FBI reported 32 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter and 103 cases of forcible rape in 2008. That's similar to what the Flint Police Department reported -- which were the exact numbers Biden cited Wednesday.
But the FBI reported the number of murders at 53 in 2010, with the number of forcible rapes actually dropping to 92. According to the FBI, the Flint "metropolitan statistical area" -- which includes the surrounding county as well as the city -- recorded 225 forcible rapes in 2010. However, that would also mark a decrease from the 239 recorded in the broader area in 2008.
A representative from Biden's office said the 229 number came from the Flint Police Department. . . .
Total crime is down between 2008 and 2010 from 9186 to 8649.
Violent crime is up from 2,297 to 2412 (a 5 percent increase)
Murder and aggravated assaults are up, but rape and robbery are down.
Property crime is down from 6,889 to 6,237
For Michigan as a whole, violent, property crimes are down. Murder and rapes are up, Robbery and Aggravated Assaults are down.
UPDATE: Biden makes more comments.
"Do you regret using the rape reference to describe Senate opposition" to the bill, Jason Mattera asked Biden as he left a rally with police unions and others who have faced the budget ax in recent months.
"I didn't use ... no, no, no," Biden responded. "Let's get it straight, guy. Don't screw around with me. Let's get it straight."
"You didn't use a rape reference," said Mattera, of the conservative news organization Human Events.
"No, let me explain," Biden said, pointing toward Mattera. "I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up; rape is up; burglary is up. That's what I said."
"And if the Republicans don't pass this bill, then rape will continue to rise?" the reporter asked.
"Murder will continue to rise; rape will continue to rise; all crime will continue to rise," Biden said.
Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away. . . .
Jay Carney joins in:
"I think it would be hard to find anyone that doesn't agree," White House press secretary Carney said about Joe Biden's remark that rapes will increase if Congress does not pass Obama's latest stimulus bill.
Carney was asked about Vice President Joe Biden saying rapes and murders will rise if the president's jobs bill is not passed.
"I think everyone will agree with the equation that fewer police officers on the street has a direct effect on the crime rate. We saw this in the 1990's. I do know that any lawmaker up on Capitol Hill will contest that simple fact or any American who makes that assessment in their local communities. Would you want fewer or more law enforcement officers on the job? Do you think that having more officers on the job would have a positive impact on crime? That is the point that the President absolutely shares," . . .