The @MNNationalGuard has activated approximately 100 Soldiers from the 257th Military Police Company at the request of the city of Minneapolis for potential support to civil unrest within the city.— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) June 16, 2021
While the Soldiers are not currently in Minneapolis, they are standing by and prepared to respond if their presence is needed.— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) June 16, 2021
Hey, who wants to be a police officer in Murderapolis?
“As for policing, this issue could really sink Democrats. For example, big swaths of my old hometown, Minneapolis, have been turned into a dangerous and dystopian ghost city, racked by gun violence, since the police murder of George Floyd, a murder that exposed two truths for all to see: that racism in metropolitan police forces is real and appalling and requires many remedies, but also that rushing to defund or dismantle police forces without a carefully considered plan is not one of them.
The defund battle cry initially guided the super-progressive Minneapolis City Council, and it has diminished and demoralized the police force, leaving behind a department that is often either unable or unwilling to risk getting embroiled in any kind of confrontation.
As The Star Tribune of Minnesota reported last week, “the number of people shot citywide went up nearly 90 percent compared with the first half of last year. … Department officials say it is no coincidence that the rise in crime comes after the departure of at least 200 members of the city’s police force — through retirements, resignations and medical leaves in the months since Floyd’s death. Only 19 people were in a new class of cadets that just hit the streets.”
The result? “Officers are spending less time doing the type of ‘proactive policing’ that can help fight crime, while detectives are carrying such high caseloads that some shootings with no obvious suspect sometimes aren’t even assigned.”
Another result? Minority neighborhoods, like Northside, are being terrorized by gang shootouts and other crimes. Last Friday, a leader there, Sondra Samuels, who runs the Northside Achievement Zone, which works to strengthen education and job opportunities for Black families, called me. (I was born in the Northside and am a donor to NAZ.) She told me that nearby a 9-year-old girl, Trinity Ottoson-Smith, was killed by a stray bullet while jumping on a trampoline.
“We absolutely must commit to addressing racial injustice in housing, health, education, income and wealth, while we also commit to a ‘both/and’ strategy to address public safety,” Samuels said. That means “we need BOTH a radical transformation in the culture of policing AND sufficient staffing of police to keep our neighborhoods and children safe. That means re-funding the police, not defunding them.”
Black residents make up about 20 percent of Minneapolis but well over 60 percent of the shooting victims. Alas, you’d never know that from the public discussion, said Samuels, because these shootings mostly don’t involve white cops.
“For the last year, I and my neighbors have watched Black mothers react with incredulity when their child is killed in community violence and not by a white cop. Their tragedies do not trigger citywide protest rallies, people don’t say their child’s name and there are no citywide demands that this has to stop.”
It is a new progressive era.