Since the death of George Floyd, violent crime has surged in Minneapolis, with the second-highest number of homicides since 1995 when a record 97 homicides were recorded. Out of the 5,426 violent crimes recorded in Minneapolis last year, 83 of them were homicides. Crime rates already reached a surging of 1,398 violent cases in the first four months of this year and continue to grow.
Officers have already seen a spike in gun violence, with more than 550 people wounded in shootings last year and carjackings spiked up. While the City Council approved funds in February to hire dozens of police officers, it was only a short time ago that radical left activist groups and city council members were advocating the replace the police department entirely. So much for ‘defund the police.’
Members of Minneapolis communities have continued to raise concerns about a spike in crime in the city, especially after a young boy was shot in a vehicle along Morgan Avenue North near 34th Avenue last Friday afternoon. While the department was unable to provide details on the shootings, Marcus Kennedy with community group Emerge called it “another tragedy” and “a tragedy that shouldn’t be happening at all.”
Minneapolis City Council leaders are also signing off on compensation packages totaling close to $35 million to former police officers who left the force amid George Floyd’s death. An estimated 200 Minneapolis police and firefighter officials left the department after suffering physical injuries or post-traumatic stress in last year’s summer riots.
Ron Meuser, an attorney representing former law enforcement officers, said they felt for a long time that their community doesn’t want them, doesn’t respect them, and doesn’t care about them.
Councilmember Phillippe Cunningham even tried to lay blame on Mayor Jacob Frey for not having a plan to stop last year’s ongoing violence. “I cannot try to solve this gun violence all by myself. We cannot wait until we have 600 more officers or even just the 200 who have left since last year before something is done. Why are Black lives in north Minneapolis not being prioritized urgently?” He wrote.
But Mayor Frey fired back that his “public commitment to defunding and abolishing the police department” as well as his “lack of support for adequate police staffing levels” have detracted from the essential work at a great cost to the city of Minneapolis. This is a change of tone from his previous calls to defund the police.
During a community gathering on Sunday with Pastor Dale Hume, he agreed that defunding the police was a bad idea. He told Hume it’s going to take a “very comprehensive effort” that includes safety beyond policing, and it includes the police. He said he was calling on his council members to find an approach to tackling crime and that people deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood and should be able to send their kids out on the sidewalk to play. Hume said that people think it is just an “easy solution” to think you can defund the police, then adds it is not something that can happen when you see it is not the solution.
“It’s just the reality of the solution, you know. When you make big, overarching statements that we’re going to defund or abolish and dismantle the police department and get rid of all the officers, there’s an impact to that. Do we need massive change? Yes, we do. We need accountability and culture shift within our department, and we need police,” Mayor Frey replied.
It’s no mystery that less policing equals more crime and that the worst riots happen in radical-left cities where the leaders bend the knee to the ‘woke mob.’ Less policing only makes things harder for the law-abiding citizens, business owners, and families trying to defend themselves.