Right there in the hometown newspaper….
Three articles appeared in the 12/2/23 edition of the Star Tribune that should resonate with those who understand the importance the police play in the future of Minneapolis. The first…
Last night was a new low for public safety in our signature city.
Shortly after midnight, several suspects fired an estimated 100 rounds of automatic gunfire into the back parking lot of the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct, striking the precinct, as well as residences and cars in the area. Amazingly no injuries were reported. Hear audio of the gunfire here.
Police in the lot put out a “help call” and due to the chaos created also conducted an on-air roll call to ensure all officers were safe and accounted for. Police were able to stop the suspect vehicle several blocks away. Two suspects were arrested with the car, and a third was arrested hiding under a nearby porch. At least two firearms were recovered and at least one had a “switch” installed making it fully automatic. At least one of the suspects was described as an adult.
Neither the Minneapolis Police nor Mayor Frey appears to have released a statement about the incident yet.
After the July 4th mayhem throughout Minneapolis, Mayor Frey took a tough-sounding stance – one that hasn’t aged well.
Follow-up by several news organizations has failed to determine whether the 4th Precinct was the target of the shooting or not.
No matter the intended target, the fact that criminals are now so emboldened as to shoot a hundred rounds of automatic gunfire at or adjacent to a police precinct is a huge step backward for public safety.
Minneapolis is paying a brutal price for turning its back on its own police department in recent years.
Calls to defund and dismantle the police department, politically charged prosecutions of officers, and a questionable human rights violation finding and pending consent decree with the state have decimated police morale and emboldened criminals.
That is a dangerous combination. We saw the results last night, and there is no reason to believe things will improve anytime soon.
Minneapolis remains without a permanent police chief 7 months after Chief Arrandondo retired. The department has only 564 officers, down from nearly 850 just a few years ago. Mayor Frey will be in court in August to answer why the city has failed to maintain the minimum of 731 officers it is mandated to employ per the city charter.
The city desperately needs more officers on the street. The token numbers of state troopers, BCA agents, and sheriff’s deputies who are occasionally patrolling the city are just not enough.
Shots-fired incidents are on pace to exceed 10,000 for the second year in a row.
Car jackings, which doubled to nearly 650 in 2021, are on pace to exceed that in 2022.
The police department’s 3rd precinct sits vacant two years after city leadership ordered the police to vacate the building rather than defend it against mobs of protestors. Those protestors were emboldened by the retreat and torched the police precinct. It stands as a trophy to criminality.
38th and Chicago, a major intersection a few miles south of the burned-out precinct, is Minneapolis’s version of an autonomous zone. Businesses have walked away from their properties, while barricades and memorials to George Floyd dominate the streets and parking lots in the area.
The downtown entertainment district and sporting venues have been hit hard. Rarely does a week go by without a story of citizens being assaulted, robbed, shot in the crossfire, or just harassed while downtown or attending a ballgame in the evening. A recent Twins homestand with the Yankees averaged over 10,000 empty seats – that just hasn’t happened in the past.
Metro Transit is under the same strain. Stories of riders being assaulted, robbed, or harassed while trying to ride the light rail are commonplace. Ridership has decreased by half since pre-pandemic days, and safety is often cited as a primary reason. Those that are riding are often criminals and homeless who openly use drugs, urinate and defecate, and sleep in the isles of the train cars.
We have never seen such a public safety crisis in Minneapolis. And this is the city the New York Times labeled “Murderapolis,” in the mid 90’s.
We desperately need public safety-minded leaders to step forward. These leaders must boldly support law enforcement and call out criminals and those in the system that excuse and perpetuate criminal behavior.
Without that leadership, Minneapolis will continue to draw closer to a “no-recovery zone.”
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