News World

Detroit most violent big city in U.S. in 2016: FBI

By Brad Hunter, Toronto Sun

Detroit police cruiser (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file)

Detroit police cruiser (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file)

A 32-year-old found slumped over in an alley with multiple gunshot wounds on Detroit’s east side is the latest casualty in Motown’s descent into chaos.

The victim — who was afforded three short paragraphs in the Detroit News — wasn’t named.

Detroit has returned to its top spot as America’s most dangerous big city, according to the FBI, with violent crime — rape, murder, assault and robbery — spiking a staggering 15.7% in 2016 over the previous year.

Freddy Jackson told the Detroit News he was shot in the leg in 2002 and despite civic boasts that Motown is safer now, he doesn’t believe it.

“I don’t think crime is getting worse, per se, but I don’t think it’s getting better either,” Jackson said, adding, “in some neighbourhoods it’s pretty bad.”

But the city’s police chief disputes the FBI statistics that form the basis of Detroit’s return as Murder City U.S.A.

“I don’t agree with the stats,” Chief James Craig told reporters. “We go through this every year … it’s a horrible platform. We have a new system that’s more accurate.”

According to the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report, 13,705 violent crimes were reported last year in the city compared with 11,846 in 2015.

However, the former world capital of auto manufacturing can take some solace from the fact it doesn’t lead in murder. That honour falls to St. Louis, followed by Baltimore. Detroit comes in third with 303 slayings in 2016.

And despite mounting concerns over Chicago’s skyrocketing homicide rate, it’s still lower than Detroit (28 per 100,000 residents in the Windy City compared to 45 murders per 100,000 residents in Motown).