The City of Minneapolis has been through some traumatic times since the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. The four nights of continuous rioting and destruction resulted in an estimated cost to the city of over $500 million in damages. In a knee-jerk reaction the City Council voted to defund the city’s police department. They suggested removing the 911 call centers from police departments and placing them under civilian control. They suggested that some 911 calls could be handled by less-threatening civilian responders such as counselors, social workers and psychologists. It seems liberal-minded city dwellers believe that the mere presence of police incites violence. Perhaps the Minneapolis City Council also believe they could avoid more rioting and destruction of their city by appeasing BLM and Antifa. The Council members mistakenly think these domestic terrorists’ demands could ever be satisfied. The “protesters” are emboldened with each concession and it only serves to further their demands. It has been just two months since the City Council’s action and now the citizens of Minneapolis are crying foul over skyrocketing crime rates. At a Wednesday meeting some members of the City Council expressed alarm over a surge in crime that includes carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings many of which take place in broad daylight. Residents are upset over the fact that 911 calls often go unanswered or the response times are exceedingly slow. Council members have pressured Police Chief Arradondo regarding the uptick in crimes. Members of his department have been accused of not enforcing the law or making arrests. The Chief pledged to address these issues with his departmental supervisors, however many officers are demoralized by the anti-police public attitude. Crime data corroborates what Minneapolis citizens have known for some time; violent crime as well as property crime and arson are up. There are more murders in the first nine months of 2020 than in all of 2019.
The Minneapolis Police Department has lost approximately 100 officers this year for a variety of reasons. That is more than double the number that would typically be lost in a normal year. The City Council began dismantling the city’s police department in July of this year. It started with removing $1 million from the police department budget and reallocating it to the health department to hire “violence interrupters.” These unarmed civilians are supposed to defuse potentially violent situations by non-violent means. The Council pledged earlier in the summer to dismantle the police department and replace it with a community-based system of public safety. From the uptick in crime it doesn’t appear that the criminals have chosen to cooperate with the Council’s non-violent approach to law enforcement. To send an unarmed violence interrupter into a dangerous situation is suicidal. The citizens of Minneapolis need to recall their current Council members and vote in new members with some common sense. Criminals take advantage of a “soft touch” approach. A zero tolerance approach to crime is the only message criminals understand. It worked in New York in the past and at this point I think the residents of Minneapolis are ready for a new technique that works. Minneapolis has learned its lesson; when it comes to law & order, you reap what you sow.