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Governor alludes to Flint as 'Murdertown' in legal brief

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is making some eyebrow-raising statements about the city of Flint.

A court brief written by the Attorney General's Office on behalf of Snyder, stated retiree benefits should be on the chopping block in order to have money to keep public safety employees and fight crime in the city of Flint, which has become known as "Murdertown."

Snyder's exact statement reads, "Given the city's ignominious appellation as 'Murdertown,' and the indisputable fact that the city is a violent place, the emergency manager's policy decision to forgo additional cuts to police and fire cannot reasonably be challenged."

The brief filed on behalf of the governor, was an attempt to justify why the city needed to consider cutting retiree benefits in response to a lawsuit filed by Flint retirees in an attempt to stop the city from doing so.

In response to Snyder's comment, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) issued the following statement: 

"Having been born and raised in Flint, I find Gov. Snyder's recent remarks about our city insensitive and disrespectful. There is no doubt that Flint has fallen on hard economic times and seen too many of our kids die as a result of violent crime. But such inflammatory rhetoric only belittles the people of Flint and does nothing to strengthen our communities, nor does it put a single additional cop on the streets to make our city safer. Instead of embracing and supporting Michigan communities like Flint, such disparaging remarks seek to whittle us down, and that is wrong. Gov. Snyder should apologize for such hurtful remarks."

TV5 reached out to the Governor's office for comment.

A spokesman for Michigan Attorney General's office, who filed the brief, replied and said the term originated from a New York Times article and was used to justify the need for more police on the streets.

"Nobody wants to be called Murdertown ... by the New York Times or anyone else... The brief was being used as evidence to get more police on the street," said John Sellek, a spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office.

A statement by the by the Governor's office reads:

"First and foremost the Governor never said those words. Period. They were a reference to what others have said used in a legal brief that was filed by the Attorney General's Office with the Sixth Circuit of Appeals in Cincinnati. What Gov. Snyder has said, is that Flint has a crime problem. That's why he is focused so steadily on tackling that issue in Flint and other Michigan cities by developing innovative and comprehensive approaches and collaboration between the state and federal partners. We're making our cities safer, improving services and the quality of life for their residents."

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Governor alludes to Flint as 'Murdertown' in legal brief

Monday, October 14 2013, 12:11 PM EDT

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