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Separating Narrative from Fact in the Crime and Policing Crisis

[Related News: Minneapolis Ranked 25th Most Dangerous City] Some unjustified police shootings, a dangerous narrative fomented by the Black Lives Matter movement, and a complicit media who slot everything into the racist-cop paradigm have created social unrest not experienced since the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The difference is that today this anti-cop ideology is embraced at the highest levels of the establishment from the president and his attorney general down to college presidents, foundation heads, and the press. Heather Mac Donald, a leading expert on crime and policing, says “we are playing with fire, and if...

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St. Cloud Mall Attack Raises More Questions About Gun-Free Zones

Nearly 48 hours later, new facts continue to filter out of St. Cloud on the investigation into what may be Minnesota's first "lone-wolf" terrorist attack. So far no evidence has surfaced to back up Isis' claim of involvement.  But after closer scrutiny of the security surveillance footage,  it turns out there's a tenth victim of Dahir Adan's stabbing rampage. The 21 year old St. Cloud man did not seek medical attention and did not report his injuries to authorities. Jason Falconer, the off-duty policeman who shot the perpetrator dead and prevented a likely bloodbath, has also kept a low profile. But...

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“Racist Cops” Claims Ignore the Facts

We are in the midst of a nationwide campaign against law enforcement that is making our cities, including Minneapolis, more dangerous. Why were shootings in Minneapolis up 46% over 2015, as of mid-July? Because of the "Ferguson effect," and because Minneapolis's City Council has deliberately limited police officers' ability to fight crime. In an article that appeared first in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune, Senior Policy Fellow Kathy Kersten brilliantly lays out the facts that those who accuse the police of being racist conveniently ignore. Such as: Nationally, blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies and 57 percent of murders in...

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Protesters Shut Down Highway 35W [Updated]

This morning at rush hour, around 7:50, several dozen protesters climbed onto Highway 35W South at around University Avenue and shut the highway down for around an hour and a half. Police finally cleared the highway and made arrests. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has the story here. The protesters presumably are affiliated with Black Lives Matter, but based on the photographs, it looks as though most of them were white: It is hard to think of a worse way to promote a cause than by shutting down a major highway at rush hour. My guess is that most people in Minnesota are...

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Police Group Criticizes Dayton’s Hasty Reaction to Shooting

In Minnesota, there has been an outpouring of anger at Governor Mark Dayton, who within hours after the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a St. Anthony police officer, alleged that the incident was due to "racism," even though he knew nothing about the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, and next to nothing about how the incident unfolded. Despite that wave of criticism, Dayton says that he "stands by" his premature, uninformed accusation against Yanez. Now criticism of Dayton's performance has gone national, as the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations tells the Washington Post that Dayton's remarks "exploited a...

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Governor Mark Dayton Embarrasses Himself and Minnesota

Governor Mark Dayton taught a master class yesterday in how not to respond to a tragedy. It started with the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a St. Anthony police officer Wednesday evening. The event drew world-wide publicity, largely because of the extraordinary video that was shot and live-streamed to Facebook by Philando's girlfriend, who was sitting next to him in the vehicle. But the video begins after the officer shot Philando, and sheds no light (apart from the girlfriend's own description) of what led up to the shooting. Almost everyone is treating the shooting as unjustified, which may well...

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Did Gun Rights Activist Flag Problem with St. Anthony Police?

The facts still need to be established in the tragic shooting death of Philando Castile Wednesday night by a St. Anthony police officer in Falcon Heights. Reports say Castile, a black man, was evidently shot after being asked to produce his driver license and vehicle registration. Somewhere in the process Castile apparently informed the officer he had a conceal carry license and a firearm. What went wrong next remains under investigation. But was the St. Anthony Police Department advised to rethink its policy of policing through traffic pullovers a year and a half before this incident by a well-respected lawyer and gun rights...

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Violent Crime Jumps In Minnesota

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has released its report on crime in Minnesota in 2015. The BCA's findings are grim: Violent crime saw a nearly 8 percent jump in 2015 compared to the year before, according to a report released Friday by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s Uniform Crime Report. Murders stood out among the findings — they climbed nearly 60 percent from 2014 to 2015. Minnesota thus joins a nationwide trend, as the steady decline in violent crime that began in the 1990s has been reversed. This chart shows the number of murders committed in Minnesota from 2002 through 2015, as reported...

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