Backfire: Minneapolis City Council retreats on defunding the police as surging crime rates provoke desperation

by Peter Heck · Feb 15th, 2021 7:24 am
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Last Updated Feb 16th, 2021 at 2:33 pm

Despite its original plan to defund the city's police department and replace it with a "public safety department" made up of social workers and other forms of law enforcement, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously on Friday to fund the police an additional $6.4 million.

Following the death of George Floyd over the summer and the civil unrest that ensued, an unprecedented number of Minneapolis police officers quit or took extended medical leave. Citing lack of support from city officials, the department could not retain the necessary number of officers to keep up with surging crime rates.

In 2020, the city saw double the number of gunshot victims, carjackings increased by over 300%, and murders were up by half. As the violence has increased, the department has reported only 638 officers available in the city's jurisdiction, nearly 200 short of what has been standard.

Local media reports that since the Floyd-inspired Black Lives Matter riots, residents of Minneapolis "have begged city leaders" to hire additional officers and increase police presence.

Nevertheless, a coalition of local community groups called "Yes 4 Minneapolis" is still collecting signatures on a petition to ask the council to disband and replace the police department. The group is being funded by a half-million dollar grant from Open Society Policy Center, an organization linked to billionaire left-wing financier George Soros.


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