by Frank Holmes, reporter
Last week, gunmen in Minneapolis shot down a 17-year-old campaign worker for the Republican trying to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Police say the murder wasn’t politically motivated; it was part of a historic spike in violent crimes that followed the city’s decision to “defund the police.”
But instead of rethinking their policy, Democratic politicians are browbeating police officers—even accusing them of deliberately letting crime explode to affect the outcome of the election.
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In June, Minneapolis city council voted unanimously to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a “Department of Community Safety.”
Council members voted to cut $1.5 million from the police department’s budget and hire “violence interrupters.” There thinking is that when criminals strike, the city would send counselors and social workers instead of cops.
Violent crime spiked across the city. This year will likely break Minneapolis’ all-time record for murders and, by August, more murders had already been committed than in all 2019.
Shootings stabbings, aggravated assaults, and property crimes including robbery are also up 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Arsons rose 55 percent.
Rioters have turned the area where George Floyd was killed into a “no-go zone” filled with “gun violence, drug dealing, intimidation, extortion,” according to City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins.
Now, the same council members are outraged. They’re demanding to know why police aren’t arresting more criminals.
“What people want to know is MPD’s response,” said Council Member Jeremy Schroeder.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” said Councilmember Jamal Osman.
A viral Facebook Live video from the principal of Minneapolis’ North High School showed that council members are facing massive public backlash in an election year.
“We literally are in a city right now that is completely and entirely out of control,” said principal Mauri Melander Friestleben. “We’re seeing blocks being taken over.”
“The people who are in my community need and want good law enforcement,” Friestleben said.
Faced with these statistics, Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender, a Democrat, blamed the crime wave on the police.
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“I think there are a number of possible explanations for this,” Bender said. “I think it’s possible [police officers] are essentially campaigning, because they don’t support the council member or, in some cases, the mayor, or perhaps they think that they are making the case for more resources for the department.”
Police say the city’s budget cuts and decision to tie police’s hands while rioters run roughshod over the city left them without the manpower, resources, or morale to fight violent crime.
By mid-July, 200 officers had applied to leave the MPD—almost one of every four police officers in the city. Approximately 100 officers have already quit, more than double the number of police who leave the force in an average year.
“I’m still surprised that we’ve got cops showing up to work, to be honest,” said Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year member of the force.
He compared the riots, and the city’s lack of response, to “a nuclear bomb.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo has said to combat the explosive level of violent crime and the number of discouraged cops quitting the force, he needs 400 new police officers.
Mayor Jacob Frey, a far-left Democrat, has authorized 14. Members of city council have said they would be open to hiring at most 30 cops.
The same story is playing out across the nation: Crime surges as liberal Democrats propose defunding the police.
Nationally, murders rose 15 percent from January to June 2020. The U.S. is set to have the highest level of gun-related killings in 21 years. And the FBI reports that arson increased 52 percent in America’s largest cities.
The Wall Street Journal called it “The Minneapolis Effect”: Liberal cities backed down in the face of mob violence, and their most poor and vulnerable citizens paid the price.
But Democrats at the highest level of city, state, and national politics still want to cut off funding from the men and women that keeps American cities safe.
Minneapolis City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham said he’s “flabbergasted” by fellow Democratic council “colleagues who a very short time ago who were calling for abolition, who are now suggesting that we should be putting more funding and resources into MPD.”
He still thinks social workers are the way to go.
How long will that last?
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”