The Minneapolis City Council is reportedly unnerved by the sharp rise in violent crime.
After city-wide riots seized the city following the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in late May, the council called for the defunding of the police department, plunging the city into an atmosphere of unrest.
In a two-hour meeting on police reform, members of the Minneapolis City Council “told police Chief Medaria Arradondo that their constituents are seeing and hearing street racing which sometimes results in crashes, brazen daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings,” reports MPR News.
“The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.”
According to the minutes, city council member Jamal Osman said, “Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” Osman told the council that there is a deluge of complaints from frightened residents complaining that their calls to the police are not being answered. The report also states that some city member councils whose constituents lived in previously safe areas are feeling “terrorized.”
“That is the only public safety option they have at the moment: MPD,” Osman said. “They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.”
In response to the rise in violent crime, City Council President Lisa Bender, who infamously led the charge to defund the police department, placed the blame on cops whom she described as defiant and derelict in their duties to the public.
“This is not new,” Bender said. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”
In the days following the death of Floyd, Cunningham led the charge “to end our city’s toxic relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department,” and called for a total abolition of the force, to be replaced by an as-yet-undefined “community-led public safety system.”
Not every member of the city council has been on board with Bender’s proposals. Speaking for his constituents, council member Phillipe Cunningham expressed dismay at his colleagues who were complaining about the lack of policing when they had previously voted to defund the entire police force.
“What I am sort of flabbergasted by right now is colleagues, who a very short time ago were calling for abolition, are now suggesting we should be putting more resources and funding into MPD,” said Cunningham.