Monday, May 3, 2010

Political Violence in Michigan

From the Flint (MI) Journal:

City officials suspect arsonists with a political bent were trying to scare residents after nine vacant homes were torched over a 20-hour span.

The rash of fires was worse than the city has seen on Devil’s Night in recent years, a night typically considered the worst night for arsons in Flint all year.

Must be those violent right-wing Tea Party milita types, right?


The fires started Wednesday about 30 minutes after Flint Mayor Dayne Walling announced that 23 firefighters would no longer be on the job starting Thursday morning.

“The point here is that this is a series of coordinated criminal attacks that are designed to scare the residents of this city,” said Walling, saying the arsonists are seeking a “perverted political purpose” by setting them.

Walling said the city is doing everything it can to curb the outbreak of fires and promised to “not allow criminals and fear to take over this city.”

He said investigators believe the fires were set in a “routine pattern” but declined to give further details about the fires or any evidence found at the scenes.

Lock said investigators were talking to someone in connection with the fires Thursday morning, but wouldn’t say if the person is a suspect. No arrests had been made Thursday afternoon, Walling said.

“I think it’s someone that has knowledge of what they’re doing, and I’ll leave it at that,” Lock said. “You can read between the lines.”

Reading between the lines, I'd say Lock was suggesting that Flint's own unionized firemen and/or police were setting the fires themselves. I'm certainly no big media editor, but I'd have thought something like that would be a major news story.

Not so much, apparently. That article is dated March 25, now over a month ago. The city is continuing to investigate the outbreak of arson fires as of last week:

Lock said federal agencies and Michigan State Police are involved with the task force set up "to find the people who are setting these fires."

He said more information about the task force will be available next week.

"The majority are arson," Lock said of the rash of fires that have come since the layoff of 46 police officers and 23 firefighters. "I think it's several people doing it ... Neighbors are beginning to call" with information.

Funny thing, this outbreak of poltical violence hasn't been reported at all outside of the local media in Flint. How much you want to bet that wouldn't be the case if, say, a scorched Gadsden Flag had been found at one of the crime scenes?

No comments:

Post a Comment