Detroit Mayor Dave Bing went on the offensive Tuesday afternoon after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg cited Detroit’s murder rate in underscoring the low murder rate on the streets of New York.
Speaking to police officers, Bloomberg noted that if New York had the same number of people getting killed, more than 4,500 who live in the world’s financial capital would have died instead of the 419 murders in New York last year, the Detroit News reported.
“Last year, we had a record low 419 murders. If instead we had Washington, DC's murder rate, nearly 1,200 New Yorkers would have been murdered last year instead of 419," Bloomberg said. "And if we had had Detroit's murder rate, more than 4,500 New Yorkers would have been murdered last year instead of 419. That's a factor of ten.”
Mayor Bing fired back, saying the billionaire mayor who was once considered a potential presidential candidate is taking Detroit’s crime issue out of context when compared to New York City.
“I think it is sad and inappropriate for anyone, especially public officials, to tout their crime fighting efforts by highlighting other cities’ murder rates,” Bing said. “There are dramatic differences between New York and Detroit.”
Bing cited as an example New York’s 40,000 police officers compared to only 3,000 men and women in blue in Detroit.
“Secondly, New York has crime fighting techniques and resources such as ‘stop and frisk at will’ and a sophisticated surveillance system that we do not currently have in our crime fighting arsenal, in part due to the fact we are under a federal consent decree,” Bing said. “We are all engaged in reducing violent crimes and we need to fight this battle together. Therefore, I support Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to get Congress to toughen gun laws so that gun violence is reduced in Detroit, New York and across this country.”
Detroit’s crime statistics that were released earlier this year showed 411 homicides last year, up from 377 the following year. The FBI’s violent crime statistics for the first half of 2011 showed that overall violent crime rate was down 24 percent.
In the same speech to the rank and file of the New York Police Department, Mayor Bloomberg accused the media of double standard in its coverage after he came under heavy criticism for the police department’s “Stop-and-Frisk” program which has been widely criticized by police brutality advocates for targeting people of color.
Bloomberg said that the New York Times criticism of the “Stop-and-Frisk” program was baseless and accused the paper of racial double standard in the lack of coverage of a 17-year-old shot to death last week in the Bronx.
“Do you think that if a White 17-year-old prep student from Manhattan had been murdered, the Times would have ignored it?” Bloomberg asked. “Four days after Alphonso Bryant's murder went unreported by the Times, the paper published another editorial attacking stop-question-frisk. They called it a ‘widely-loathed’ practice — even though a growing number of mothers and fathers who have had their children murdered with guns have been speaking out in support of stop, question and frisk.”