Minnesota has suffered not just from the COVID-19 pandemic but from a pandemic of crime as well. Violent crimes in Minneapolis ballooned by 21%, from 4,496 in 2019 to 5,422 in 2020. Statewide, offenses involving murders increased by 58%, from 117 to 185, while the number of robberies reported swelled by 26%, from 3,081 in 2019 to 3,885 in 2020. The same period saw a 54% jump in arson to 710 after several years of decline. Motor vehicle thefts also rose by 20% to 13,662—the most since 2005. Minneapolis is now on pace to set a new record in homicides this year and the danger is spreading into the suburbs. Since Dec 2020, after the Minneapolis City Council defunded the police by $18M and shootings are up 250%, homicides are up 105%, and carjackings are up 222%.
We have a rising crime issue, first and foremost, not a racially-motivated crime issue. The national media’s focus on race relations and anti-police legislation obscures the fact that according to the FBI, 81% of white victims were killed by white offenders, and 89% of black victims were killed by black offenders, nationwide.
We also have a media narrative issue. Corporate media and their activist journalists want you to believe that COIVD-19 was the main driver behind the recent crime surge. Their reporting ignored the reality that the murder rate in other global cities fell, even as America’s increased. London saw a decline of 16%, Italy 14%, France 2%, and Japan hit its lowest murder rate since World War Two during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Mexico saw its first decline in six years.
The reality is Democrats aren’t actually interested in reforming the police. Last year Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) proposed police reform legislation that would have provided the resources and training on de-escalation techniques for law enforcement. Instead of working across the aisle to solve the issue, Democrats used a filibuster to block the debate on the very bill that could have saved lives. They weren’t interested in solving problems; they wanted to cynically use the issue of police brutality as an election issue.
Meanwhile, outspoken progressive politicians like Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) didn’t stop at using the issue of public safety as a political issue; she’s tirelessly fighting to make defunding the police a reality. She doesn’t even try to hide her intentions. When former President Barack Obama said in an interview that political candidates lose support when using “snappy” slogans like “defund the police,” Ilhan was quick to fire back. Even Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined Ilhan Omar to support gutting law enforcement. The initiative is considered so toxic and bonkers that it has divided Minnesota Democrats.
Like Omar, the outside organizations pouring money into Minnesota to pass the Yes 4 Minneapolis-sponsored ballot question this November aren’t for reforming policing. They want to abolish it. It takes a special kind of nerve for Ilhan to repeatedly call for dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department while she spends thousands of dollars on personal security (over $6,000 to date). In her thinking, it’s “protection for me but not for thee.”
The situation in Minneapolis that metastasized and spread around the country didn’t need to happen. But Governor Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey exacerbated the riots and the crime wave with weak-kneed policies. The Minneapolis City Council voted to defund the police. With local Democrat politicians lining up to throw the police under the bus, over 200 officers left the Minneapolis Police Department. According to the city’s police chief, they only have half the number of officers necessary to operate effectively.
In the 1990s, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani instigated “broken-windows” policing according to the theory that by addressing smaller crimes law enforcement can prevent a more serious outbreak in criminality. Crimes that go unpunished sends the message to criminals that the city and state will tolerate disorder such as riots and looting. Democrat leadership in Minnesota, from top to bottom, tolerated and in some cases encouraged the very lawlessness that has become a nationwide pandemic. These are unserious people offering misguided solutions that only exacerbate the problem and they must be held to account at the ballot box.