The Minneapolis City Council just voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional funding that the police department requested to go towards hiring dozens of new police officers. This is a stark contrast to last summer when they set out to defund law enforcement and vowed to “dismantle” the city’s police department entirely.
Calls to dismantle the department started after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was handcuffed and died after former police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck. Groups of violent rioters in Minneapolis went around burning down their communities and looting small businesses “in honor” of Floyd’s name and a nationwide reckoning on race.
Rioters even tried the light the 3rd precinct police station building on fire. Video footage showed police officers abandoning the station as protesters chased after them and threw objects at them. Some rioters even recorded stealing equipment and throwing fireworks at the building. The Minneapolis City Council said the police department will never be accountable for its actions and said they would “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.
Law enforcement officials said they felt a lack of support from city leaders after months of anti-police sentiment and riots, leading an unprecedented number of officers to quit or go on extended medical leave. Minneapolis Deputy Chief Henry Halvorson said officers simply walked off the job without filing the proper paperwork, creating confusion about who is still working and who isn’t.
There are currently only 638 police officers available to work, which is roughly 200 fewer than usual, according to the Minneapolis Police Department. “Officers don’t feel appreciated. Everybody hates the police right now. I mean everybody,” said Mylan Masson, a retired Minneapolis officer.
By December 2020, Minneapolis saw a staggering 537% rise in violent carjackings due to slow response time. The state has seen at least 375 carjackings in 2020, including 17 in one week alone, which are figures three times higher than all of 2019. The Minneapolis Police Department had been forced to create a new coding system and outsource its police work based on the staggering crime wave in violent crime, especially shootings. The toll of people shot surpassed 500 in Minneapolis, the most in 15 years.
With new recruit classes and an easier application process, the city anticipates it will have 674 officers available at the end of the year, with another 28 in the hiring process. The updated police application would include questions about degrees in criminology, social work, psychology, or counseling, and whether they volunteer or participate in programs such as the Police Activities League.
Meanwhile, three other City Council members have proposed replacing the police department with a public safety department. Democrats assumed they could rationalize cause and effect and have learned that the city council can’t patrol the streets. The people they’ve vowed to hate are the same ones putting their life and career on the line every day. Perhaps it’s time to defund the politicians.