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April 10, 2010
Political arson in Flint, MI?
Eric Scheie at Classical Values reports on a rash of fires in Flint, MI that may be politically motivated arson.
He links to several stories including this one from MLive.com, reprinting a Laura Angus piece from the Flint 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.
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.
Two firefighters were hurt in the ensuing fires, including one who had a ceiling fall on him.
The injured firefighters, who were treated and released, were among those who lost their jobs in the layoffs.
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, it would appear that some firefighters may be trying to make a statement about the layoffs. There are 43 policemen who will also be laid off as well so there's plenty of anger to go around.
Yes, I think the idea of committing arson in order to get federal stimulus money for government jobs is about as perverted as it is possible to get. It's the sort of thing we traditionally associate with kleptocracies, and I am sorry to see it happening in the United States.
And I think what's worse than the fact that it happened is that it isn't being widely reported.
Right on both counts, Eric.