Walz’s leadership failure during riots exposed in another report

A third report about the 2020 riots released this week revealed once again that Tim Walz’s stated reason for not immediately deploying the National Guard is not supported by the facts. In other words, it’s a lie.

Walz froze for two straight days of rioting and then blamed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for not providing proper specifics in his request for state help. This week’s report, issued by Walz’s own Department of Public Safety, shows the opposite: a very specific email from Police Chief Medaria Arradondo went unanswered by the Walz administration.

The new report is titled External Review of the State’s Response to Civil Unrest and was conducted by Wilder Research with a $180,000 grant from the Department of Public Safety. From page 44 of the report:

Chief Medaria Arradondo’s written request from Wednesday, May 27, asked for 600 soldiers to work under MPD commanders to assist with 1) area security and force protection operations, 2) area denial operations, 3) transportation assistance for law enforcement officers, and 4) logistical assistance for overall security operations (Croman, 2020). According to Minneapolis officials, the governor’s office responded that they would consider the request, but the city did not receive any follow up until much later. Accounts suggest that the state was waiting for more detail, characterizing the request as “rather vague,” and the city was not aware more detail was needed for deployment.

Walz was not waiting for more detail from Minneapolis officials. He was frozen in an ideological struggle against using violence to quell the unrest since it was police violence that started the riots in the first place. After two days of riots and exasperated local anchors asking “Where is Gov. Walz?” on live television, Walz threw Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey under the bus, blaming him for a lack of specifics in his request for help. Even liberal cartoonist Steve Sack at the Star Tribune understood how ridiculous Walz’s objections were.

We’ve written before about the internal struggle that caused Walz to freeze in the most important moment of his governorship. He didn’t want to use violence (National Guard troops) to break up the riots because violence (Derek Chauvin) was the cause of the riots in the first place. Don’t believe us — Walz said this eight different ways in one press conference on May 29, 2020, trying to explain why he wouldn’t call up the National Guard.

  1. “I want to be very clear and speak to that community the very tools that we need to use to get control to make sure that buildings aren’t burned and the rule of law collapses are those very institutional tools that have led to that grief and pain.”
  2. “I want to just call out very, very clearly as we put a presence on the street to restore order it is to open that space to seek justice and heal what happened I will not in any way not acknowledge that there’s going to be that pain but my first and foremost responsibility to the state of Minnesota is the safety and security of all citizens – we cannot have the looting and the recklessness that went on…”
  3. “I also want to think about what happens when we don’t have that. People who are concerned about that police presence of an overly armed camp in their neighborhoods that is not seen in communities where children of people who look like me run to the police, others have to run from.”
  4. “And it does not escape me that we are here on the catalyst that lit this spark by what happened with the police detainment of George Floyd and the idea that a reporter would have been taken while another police action was in play is inexcusable… This is about having an aggressive approach to understanding what the community needs but not coming in heavy-handed with them, but to create space with a story can be told in a situation like this even if you’re clearing an area we have got to ensure that there is a safe spot for journalism to tell the story.”
  5. “And I want to just be clear there’s philosophically an argument to be made that an armed presence on the ground in the midst of where we just had a police killing is seen as a catalyst.”
  6. “There was a decision during the day whether, did you occupy the entire city and shut it down after those 24 hours? In retrospect I’m assuming that yes we would say that. But at the time and again we will not know it just proving the negative, would it have simply started that movement faster and would we have seen it moved out of the 3rd Precinct.”
  7. “You can’t have civil order deteriorate, and then you have to make a calculated decision about the force going in there – Does it escalate it? Does it stop it? Does it endanger civilians and the force going in there?”
  8. “I want to come back to that again, the more of those things you use, the more those are viewed as the oppressive things that lead to much of this in the first place.”

These eight statements from Walz at the height of the crisis tell Minnesotans all they need to know about his leadership ability. He failed to recognize that the riots were out of control and would only be stopped by a strong show of force from the National Guard and state and local police. His bleeding heart for legitimate protesters clouded his vision for two days until he finally moved to stop the riots. And then he tried to blame Mayor Jacob Frey for not jumping through the proper bureaucratic hoops.

Walz inaction sparked unrest around the world

The Wilder report gave us another damaging truth-bomb in just the second paragraph:

Civil unrest, including violence and destructive behavior, started within 24 hours at the scene and in other parts of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, in the state of Minnesota, around the U.S., and internationally.

This point can’t be made strong enough. The civil unrest that started after Gov. Walz froze for two days had an immediate and far-reaching impact. Walz’s weak leadership not only began the lawlessness in Minnesota, but it also inspired riots all over the country and the world. Rioters were emboldened by what happened in Minneapolis — you could take over a police precinct and burn the city down and there would be no consequences. Walz frequently brushes off Minnesota’s crime problem by saying: “It’s happening everywhere.” But it all started here with his weak leadership.