Just two months after voting to dismantle the police and slashing its budget, Minneapolis City Council members pressed the department’s chief over a surge in crime, prompting a GOP candidate to slam the lawmakers as hypocrites.
‘Residents are asking, “Where are the police?”‘ Council Member Jamal Osman said on Tuesday, adding that calls to the Minneapolis Police Department from constituents have gone unanswered.
‘That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.’
Violent crime, including domestic aggravated assault, was up almost 15 per cent in the first nine months of the year, while property crime was up almost eight per cent in the same time period.
Of all the crimes that have increased, homicide saw the largest spike of 87 per cent, rising from 30 in 2019 to 56 in 2020, while incidents of arson have increased by 82 per cent over the total at this point in 2019.
Robbery rose from 931 to 1,275 (37 percent) while incidents of aggravated assault increased from 1,750 in 2019 to 2,100 this year (20 percent). Meanwhile, rape fell by 22 percent, and domestic aggravated assault fell by 8.4 percent.
In terms of property crimes, burglary rose from 2,223 to 2,785 (25 percent), thefts from motor vehicles rose from 3,127 to 3,937 (26 percent), and auto theft rose from 1,982 to 2,766 (40 percent), while larceny fell by almost 10 percent.
As part of its several steps towards dismantling the MPD, Minneapolis City Council approved an amendment to remove $1.1 million from the department’s budget and reallocate it toward the health department in order to hire ‘violence interrupters’.
This came as part of the council’s pledge earlier in the summer to dismantle the department and replace it with a community-based system of public safety.