Someone please take the reins

After unprecedented surges in crime in 2020 and 2021, some have suggested Minneapolis is turning the corner on crime. Not so fast.

Three quarters of the way through 2022, the city has reported increases over 2021 in assaults, robberies, car jackings, burglaries, motor vehicle theft, larceny, and vandalism. See Minneapolis Crime Data Dashboard here.

4,142 vehicles have been stolen. That’s an average of 15 stolen vehicles each day this year. It represents a 37% increase over last year, and a 51% increase over the 3-year average.   

A Center of the American Experiment follower reported the following experience with two stolen vehicles racing through his neighborhood yesterday for over two hours. Residents called 911 and squads were dispatched according to #CrimeWatchMpls. However, the squads were not allowed to attempt stops for fear the thieves would flee and create an even greater public safety risk. 

Officers were relegated to monitoring the stolen cars and were even being waved at by the thieves as they recklessly drove around North Minneapolis for hours. 

The vehicles were eventually recovered unoccupied later in the evening.

The take-away for everyone — residents, police, and criminals — couldn’t be more destructive to our collective viability.

The pressure is on city leadership to gain control of the situation before it’s too late. 

Last week’s announcement by Mayor Frey of “Operation Endeavor” sounded promising on it’s face, but upon examination offered nothing new in terms of a strategy (it promises to use data to deploy resources more efficiently to high-crime areas — something that has been a staple of law enforcement for decades now). 

Someone in leadership needs to boldly call out what is happening in the city and who is committing the crime. If our leadership isn’t willing to define the problem, they have no hope of solving it.  

The data is clear — crime in Minneapolis (especially violent crime) is being disproportionately committed by young African American males who have learned through experience that there are no consequences to crime in Minneapolis. 

Our leaders need to be bold by identifying the issue, forming a coalition with members of the African American community, and announcing that law enforcement has the unwavering support of this coalition to relentlessly go after those creating havoc in our city.

Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton knew the importance of identifying and calling out the problem in 1995 after the city was dubbed “Murderapolis.”     

“Something’s wrong, and I’m going to say it…We’ve got a crisis in the African-American community, and we’ve got to deal with it…We’re going to stop people for minor traffic violations, and we’re going to check them for illegal guns.” 

Mayor Sayles Belton to Newsweek, 1995

Bold leadership was key to restoring order in the ’90s.

Why are our leaders hesitating to be bold now?