Minneapolis City Council members complain about city's crime wave after proposing to defund police department

by Laura Mize · Sep 17th, 2020 11:31 am

Last Updated Sep 21st, 2020 at 11:40 am

Minneapolis City Council members, who vowed a few months ago to defund the city's police department, vigorously questioned the city's police chief this week about a surge in violence and property crimes.

The number of robberies, assaults, burglaries, and auto thefts are higher this year than in 2019, according to Minneapolis Public Radio. So far 2020 has seen more homicides in Minneapolis than in all of 2019 and arsons have increased 55%.

Council members reported that constituents complained about these crimes.

Andrew Johnson, who has been in favor of defunding the department, asked about the response to recent carjackings, saying "they've really terrorized residents."

"How do we stop it?" he asked. "Because it seems like a huge problem and it's something we absolutely want to stop and it also seems very difficult to stop...How [do] we actually hold these individuals accountable, get them off the streets so they aren't terrorizing the community?"

On Wednesday, Johnson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Minneapolis should have an armed agency "to go after carjackers and violent criminals."

Council member Steve Fletcher said constituents reported that police officers tell them there are not enough officers to work on preventing robberies.

Lisa Bender, council president, said some residents allege that police officers are refusing to enforce laws in the city, saying the violence would go on until more officers are hired.

The city council's earlier proposal that would allow the city to replace the department with a community safety organization is under review by a group called the Charter Commission. Zero Hedge reports that more than 100 members of MPD have left their jobs this year, which is more than double the number for most years.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Bender's reports of officers refusing to enforce laws was "troubling to hear" and that he would discuss it with department leadership.

He iterated that his department has been fighting the crime wave and that some people in the city do not want to call police currently, the Star Tribune reported. He also mentioned that revamping public safety may lead to "uncomfortable" situations for residents.

"That may mean you making commitments that might be uncomfortable for some of those constituents that you represent," the chief said, "but if your ultimate goal is to have true community safety, I will tell you right now, we have to work together in that effort."


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