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Flint, MI–As of April 25, the number of non-fatal shootings in Flint have more than doubled in comparison to what they were at this point last year.
Homicide shootings have nearly doubled too.
According to statistics from the Michigan State Police, as of April 25, there have been 71 non-fatal shootings in Flint. At this time last year, there were 33 non-fatal shootings. That is an increase of 115.15%.
For homicide shootings, this year, there have been 17 as of April 25. At this time last year, there were 10 homicide shootings. That makes for an increase of 70%.
In 2020, fatal and non-fatal shootings were on the rise from the previous year. In July of 2020, Flint saw a 169% increase in non-fatal shootings and an 83.3% increase in homicide shootings compared to the year before.
Flint’s Police Chief Terence Green called a press conference Thursday afternoon pleading with the community to assist in stopping violent crime in the city.
A big part of that, he said, is by providing information.
“It’s very frustrating…take for instance, someone that’s been shot and they survived. Believe it or not, these victims…they’re not cooperating, they’re not providing basic information,” Green said. “Our Homicide Division detectives, they’re frustrated, because victims of crime…are not providing vital information to get that violator off the streets.”
That, Green said, leaves them “to shoot someone else and continue the cycle of violence.”
Green said this was in part, due to a fear of retaliation, but also due to a “street code” about not snitching.
“Some believe it or not, even the victims have been shot, they have this type of what we call a ‘street code’ where, you know, not to snitch,” Green said. “They figure themselves being shot and telling the police who shot them is a form of snitching, which is absurd.”
He also called on other community members, not just the victims, to provide more information to assist the police in their investigations.
“It could be a vehicle description, it could be an argument that they witnessed. A lot of these things are sparked by prior events,” Green said. “Any conversation overheard about someone planning to retaliate against someone…just giving us a call and providing information will assist us greatly.”
There are ways to report information anonymously, by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL(5245), submitting a tip online here, or calling the officer in charge of the investigation and simply asking to remain anonymous.
Green also said the police department could try to make arrangements to protect people who are afraid of being retaliated against for giving information.
Many of the recent violent crimes are not random acts of violence, Green said. He said they are targeted, and that the people involved are frequent drivers of crime in the city.
While some of the crimes may be gang-related, Green said that data has shown an increase in “domestic violence situations” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last summer, COVID-19 was given as a potential reason for the increase in violent crimes as well.
He said the domestic violence cases “would not have been avoided by a police officer standing on every corner.”
Still, the Flint Police Department has been working to hire new officers and fill vacant positions. While Green said many of the police officers are “sleep deprived,” the department is making “no excuses.”
Green gave the example of an officer working on a recent investigation of a 31-year-old woman who was shot multiple times inside her home around 3 a.m. on Thursday.
“The officer in charge of this investigation has been at work since 3:30 a.m. I’m not sure when he went to sleep, I’m sure it was late…So, these types of investigations are very tiresome to the detectives, and the men and women that are trying to investigate,” Green said. “And what I’m saying is they’re going sleepless… but I’ve never heard any of them complaining. They just come out, work hard, they’re trying to serve the public the best way they can.”
Green said the police are doing all they can do, and now they need the community to be a partner in order to be successful in preventing and reducing crime.
“We truly believe these crimes could be prevented by the community stepping up, giving us a call, engaging in conflict resolution within their own households, within their own community, and within their own families,” Green said.