Netflix docu-series "Flint Town"

vaglocker

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#1
Anybody else watched this yet? I'm just about finished, and I'd be interested in hearing LEO opinions on the series. If you haven't heard of it before it appears to be a fairly honest "warts and all" look into the the Flint MI police department.
 

Phil Combs

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#3
I watched it. Didn't see any bias in it at all surprisingly but maybe it was missed. Seemed to me the focal point was stress on the Agency as well as tension between them and the citizens due to failing recruiting and budget shortfalls. As little as 4 or 5 cruisers on a shift for a captia of 100k per their claims. Thats the bare bones of what i got out of it.



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#4
I watched it. Didn't see any bias in it at all surprisingly but maybe it was missed. Seemed to me the focal point was stress on the Agency as well as tension between them and the citizens due to failing recruiting and budget shortfalls. As little as 4 or 5 cruisers on a shift for a captia of 100k per their claims. Thats the bare bones of what i got out of it.



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Have you seen LA 92 and the one about Oakland?

Holy bias batman.
 

Phil Combs

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#5
I was just watching LA 92 this past weekend. Yeeah. Haven't seen the Oakland doc yet. The NY Blackout doc was fairly decent with all the first hand interviews and home footage.

I did yell out "ROOF KOREANS!" as LA92 transitioned to their side of the events LOL

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#6
I'm a FLEX officer down in Tennessee, which is similar to the C.A.T.T. team they put together in the series. I was a little taken aback by some of what I saw on there, but I'm chocking it up to creative editing since you can see it elsewhere in the series with some if the commentary being reused in different contexts. Overall it's not a terrible show. I imagine if Netflix hadn't been involved it would've been much better overall.
 

Phil Combs

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#7
I'm a FLEX officer down in Tennessee, which is similar to the C.A.T.T. team they put together in the series. I was a little taken aback by some of what I saw on there, but I'm chocking it up to creative editing since you can see it elsewhere in the series with some if the commentary being reused in different contexts. Overall it's not a terrible show. I imagine if Netflix hadn't been involved it would've been much better overall.
I'll have to watch it again to catch specifically what your talkimg about, which don't doubt one bit. With some of the other series on netflix, I was kind of taken back that they were showing the abbreviated Agency side of the story instead of throwing them completely under the bus like others do. Although like you said, heavily edited for intent of the producers message. If only truly independant producers took to this kind of story

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RustyM92

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#8
It's funny because this actually came up in my Policing class the other day. My professor (who is a researcher and consultant for various departments across the country and is extremely well grounded) seemed to think it was a fairly accurate depiction.
I can't speak from an LE perspective, but I can tell you that I live about 45 minutes from Flint and travel up there about once a month. It's an extremely impoverished city with a very high violent crime rate- actually was the most dangerous city in America up until recently. There's also an extremely engrained distrust of police and local government there, which seems to be accurately depicted from what I've seen, but I certainly don't discount some "strategic editing" having taken place.
Whatever the case, I have to give Flint Police some mad respect for doing what they do under very poor circumstances.
 

RustyM92

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#10
Yeah, but those problems extend far beyond the city leadership itself. Multiple levels of government and generations to blame for that place.
 

Phil Combs

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#11
Yeah, but those problems extend far beyond the city leadership itself. Multiple levels of government and generations to blame for that place.
Yes. The voters in towns like these, including mine, need to realize they have the power to change things via the ballot box and letters. Unfortunately, they only usually see 1 party due to cultural and generational teachings/expectations. Its very sad.

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RustyM92

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#12
Yes. The voters in towns like these, including mine, need to realize they have the power to change things via the ballot box and letters. Unfortunately, they only usually see 1 party due to cultural and generational teachings/expectations. Its very sad.

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Completely agreed. Tocqueville remarked how the strength of American society lay within involvement in associations and societies and valued personal liberties and independence. Shame how far we've strayed from that.
 
#13
Yeah, but those problems extend far beyond the city leadership itself. Multiple levels of government and generations to blame for that place.
The whole premise of this show is that they have depleted resources and have to make due with what they have. Especially after a mistake cause by the very people they elected.

Yet none of them decided that it may be worth changing the party whose been systematically destroying their community with policies which are known to turn prosperous areas into Chicago and detriot styled urban disaster zones.

When will they learn? When the politicians themselves no longer want to run for office and the only people left are those who care enough to stay and take on conservative values in order to rebuild. It's really sad, but also the core issue in that town. They depend on the gov for things they should be doing themselves.
 

RustyM92

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#14
The whole premise of this show is that they have depleted resources and have to make due with what they have. Especially after a mistake cause by the very people they elected.

Yet none of them decided that it may be worth changing the party whose been systematically destroying their community with policies which are known to turn prosperous areas into Chicago and detriot styled urban disaster zones.

When will they learn? When the politicians themselves no longer want to run for office and the only people left are those who care enough to stay and take on conservative values in order to rebuild. It's really sad, but also the core issue in that town. They depend on the gov for things they should be doing themselves.
Correct, and I agree. I was speaking outside the context of the show. It's easy to blame Gov. Snyder because he's the elected leader of the state, whether the appropriateness of the burden lays with him or not. I haven't been able to make it far in the series, so I'm assuming from what you're saying that little attention is payed to the hired state and federal employees that failed to take action and cooked their books so as not to show a problem. Which was the source of the water problem, and if the documentary fails to mention that, that is gross negligence and skewing facts.
As far as the factors that created Flint and Detroit, what I'm saying is that politics are only one string of the complex system. Lead water lines are only one aspect of the larger problem of failing infrastructure. Muskegon and Kalamazoo, two other Michigan cities, have higher lead levels than Flint, and yet you never hear about them. The poverty that is epidemic in Flint and Detroit has been perpetuated by the political actors, but is directly related to the decline of manufacturing and the lack of other jobs moving in to the area. Who created the monster of Flint and Detroit? Yes the politicians, but also the businesses, the unions, and ultimately the citizens themselves.
When will it change? You're absolutely correct, when the citizens decide to hold their elected leaders accountable, when they get involved with their communities, their local politics, when they take advantage of the inherent opportunities endowed upon them by this great country. Until they break their victim mentality, these urban disaster zones will not improve, and unfortunately it seems that the bulk of society is adopting the same mentality.
 
#15
Correct, and I agree. I was speaking outside the context of the show. It's easy to blame Gov. Snyder because he's the elected leader of the state, whether the appropriateness of the burden lays with him or not. I haven't been able to make it far in the series, so I'm assuming from what you're saying that little attention is payed to the hired state and federal employees that failed to take action and cooked their books so as not to show a problem. Which was the source of the water problem, and if the documentary fails to mention that, that is gross negligence and skewing facts.
As far as the factors that created Flint and Detroit, what I'm saying is that politics are only one string of the complex system. Lead water lines are only one aspect of the larger problem of failing infrastructure. Muskegon and Kalamazoo, two other Michigan cities, have higher lead levels than Flint, and yet you never hear about them. The poverty that is epidemic in Flint and Detroit has been perpetuated by the political actors, but is directly related to the decline of manufacturing and the lack of other jobs moving in to the area. Who created the monster of Flint and Detroit? Yes the politicians, but also the businesses, the unions, and ultimately the citizens themselves.
When will it change? You're absolutely correct, when the citizens decide to hold their elected leaders accountable, when they get involved with their communities, their local politics, when they take advantage of the inherent opportunities endowed upon them by this great country. Until they break their victim mentality, these urban disaster zones will not improve, and unfortunately it seems that the bulk of society is adopting the same mentality.
Flint, like other places, are not unique in that they have financial hardships. They are not the first or the last to endure these type of issues. The fact is, however, that solutions exist and they have been applied, and worked out well in many cases. The only issue or factor holding those solutions back from being applied is the left leaning elected officials. They don't want solutions, they want to blame others for their issues and pray for a gov handout to fix the very issues they were elected to resolve. It is a process indoctrination which led to these issues.
 

RustyM92

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#16
Flint, like other places, are not unique in that they have financial hardships. They are not the first or the last to endure these type of issues. The fact is, however, that solutions exist and they have been applied, and worked out well in many cases. The only issue or factor holding those solutions back from being applied is the left leaning elected officials. They don't want solutions, they want to blame others for their issues and pray for a gov handout to fix the very issues they were elected to resolve. It is a process indoctrination which led to these issues.
Right. Take Eastern Kentucky or West Virginia for example: those areas are some of the most impoverished in the country, but we don't hear about them because it's not politically convenient. Why Detroit and Flint get the attention they do is because they were once vibrant cities that have become the flagship for America's urban recovery.
The reason I say that there is more at hand than just politicians in their case is looking at history to determine the cause of their downfall. Chief is the heavy reliance on manufacturing. Once the factories started becoming automated or moving elsewhere, unemployment started to soar. It started becoming apparent in the 70's and 80's, and took a nosedive in the mid-2000's. Many of those workers had nothing more than a high school education, and had never trained to do any other job. Even when some of the companies offered opportunities to retrain, they never took advantage of it. Now, we have health care and other services emerging as the largest industry in the state, which has essentially become everyone who is willing and able to work taking care of everyone who is not, which I believe the series in part represents.
Then you have decades of racial tension which is now engrained in the population, and has contributed to the destruction of those cities. If you have ever watched archival footage of the 1967 Detroit riots, it looks more like Berlin 1945 than America 1967. The result was the election of Coleman Young, which ushered in a new era of corruption in local government and civil service.
Going off of the destruction and corruption, and making the full circle back to manufacturing, there were the unions. One of the most infamous ones was headed by Jimmy Hoffa, so add ties to organized crime. The unions pushed legislation which raised the weight limits on roads which sped the wear and tear on infrastructure that the local and state governments allowed to fall into disrepair. They also created conditions where people with high school educations could work a job making $38.50 an hour with full benefits. When that goes away, how does an individual compete with that, or replace that?
That's why I say that there's more than just politics that caused the situation in Flint and Detroit. It's politics, influence of organized crime and unions, generations of distrust, and the collapse of the largest portion of the state and local economy. It's generations relying on government assistance that has unfortunately become institutionalized for a lot of people.
So what's the solution? You're absolutely right. It's people needing to care enough to get involved. It's shifting the paradigm of thinking and getting the right people in office who can affect change. It all starts with the personal choice to want to change your situation and take the steps to do so. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't even want to start there.
Sorry for getting in the weeds there. This is a subject that is very near and dear to me in a lot of ways.

Completely off topic, if anyone is interested in another documentary similar in subject, check out "BURN". It follows fire fighters in Detroit. You'll probably notice similar themes.