Minneapolis crime — data at odds with the narrative

There continues to be a great deal of effort by the media and political leadership in Minneapolis to either suggest crime is down or dismiss it by focusing on issues that do little to improve the public safety landscape in our state’s largest city. 

“New statistics show that crime is going down in Minneapolis.” “After three violent years, crime is dropping in Minneapolis.” “In Minneapolis, police staffing levels continued to drop in 2023. So did crime.” These are just a few of the headlines that have bombarded readers in recent months, despite data that clearly shows the crime situation in Minneapolis is anything but decreasing. 

In fact, all three categories of crimes as reported to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension — Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Property, and Crimes Against Society — have continued to increase each year in Minneapolis 2021–2023. In contrast, the rest of the state has seen a dramatic drop in crime, as I reported in an article entitled Fewer police, more crime — the truth behind the data.

Despite these facts, headlines demonstrate the political figures in Minneapolis seemingly could not care less. Their focus has been to derail efforts to rebuild the burned-out 3rd precinct police station that stands as a trophy to lawlessness nearly four years after it was destroyed by rioters; or to support homeless encampments throughout the city which have created dystopian enclaves adjacent to homeowners, businesses, and schools; or to reject proposals to recruit and retain quality police candidates in a department trying to operate at 60% of its required workforce; or to pass meaningless resolutions speaking out against the war in Gaza, our country’s sovereignty at the border, or to recognize National Pizza Day. I recently highlighted this disfunction in a piece entitled, “Minneapolis City Council — an inauspicious start to 2024.”

The stubborn refusal to demonstrate unwavering support for the police and to help create legitimacy for them in Minneapolis has destroyed much of the public safety momentum the Minneapolis Police Department has been able to create in this trying environment.

As a result, in defiance of the narrative that “crime is down” in Minneapolis, criminals have continued to offend in frequent and random waves that should have even the most liberal citizens ready to acknowledge “this isn’t good.”

This past weekend was yet another example of just how far Minneapolis has fallen — largely because of the refusal of many in the city and those they elect to support tough on crime, proactive policing, followed up by firm prosecution of offenders. Minneapolis saw 14 robberies reported in just 13 hours Saturday night into Sunday morning — a level of violence that police chief O’Hara rightfully called “outrageous.”

A look at the Minneapolis Police Crime Dashboard as of 2/11/24 paints a disturbing picture — but an accurate one. Homicide, Assault, Domestic Aggravated Assault, Car Jacking, Robbery, Burglary, Sex Offenses, Weapon Crimes, and Gunshot Victims are all UP from the same 28 day period last year. What’s more telling is the number of crime categories that are above the three-year running average. See chart below:

It’s in our collective best interest as Minnesotans to demand Minneapolis overcome its self-induced crime problem. The city has too much potential for conservatives to retreat and walk away. Where does such retreat end, and what’s left when we finally stop our retreat?