No, Gov. Walz, homicides aren’t up everywhere: look at St. Paul

Last week, my colleague Bill Walsh noted the resolute refusal of Governor Tim Walz to address the explosion of violent crime in Minneapolis, the biggest city in his state. In a friendly chat with WCCO’s Esme Murphy, Gov. Walz said: “It’s happening everywhere, and we need to find answers.”

It is true that violent crime, particularly homicide, is surging in cities across the United States. But the situation in Minneapolis is especially acute. As Alpha News reported recently:

A new study found that Minneapolis experienced the fifth-highest increase in homicides in the nation between 2019 to 2021.

The overall rankings were based on both a city’s current homicide rate and the change in its number of homicides across the last two years. Minneapolis landed in the 11th position overall, behind cities like New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Detroit, according to the WalletHub survey.

From the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021, the city of lakes saw the fifth-highest increase in per capita homicides in the nation…

And it isn’t quite true that homicides are up everywhere. Yesterday, Minneapolis recorded its 58th homicide of 2021: This is 11 percent up over the same period last year and 132 percent over the same period in 2019. Saint Paul, meanwhile, recorded its 17th homicide of 2021 in the early hours of this morning: As Mara Gottfried notes for the Pioneer Press: “There had been 19 at this time last year.” Given the numbers seen in Minneapolis and in so many other cities in the United States this year, this is quite remarkable.*

What happens in Minneapolis affects the rest of the state. Right now, the biggest problem facing the city is the surge of violent crime. It isn’t good enough for Gov. Walz to simply shrug his shoulders and say “It’s happening everywhere” when it is happening worse in Minneapolis and where it isn’t happening in its neighbor, Saint Paul.

*If anyone has any explanations for this, I’m all ears.