May 27, 2021

Crime Surge in Minneapolis Leaves Citizens Questioning the Push to Defund Police 

  • Flyover Country

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief:

Police officers are continuing to leave the Minneapolis Police Department as a result of inability to keep rising crime rates in check. Violent crime has surged, and communities have been informed that residents may need to be ready to give over possessions to robbers - because no one is around to help them. 

The Background:

Minneapolis continues to struggle with rising violent crime. In 2021, the number of individuals wounded by gunshot rose 250%. Rape is up 22% and robbery is up 59% compared to 2020 (which reached record levels compared to recent years). Last summer, residents in Minneapolis were informed that they may need to give up possessions to robbers.

Over 200 members of law enforcement have left the Minneapolis Police Department due to the lack of adequate funding and inability to effectively curb crime. Many have also stated their reason for leaving the force as PTSD due to the ongoing civil unrest over the last year.

“We have to have a wholesome community. We need multi-strategy and not a singular approach... Police have to change but we need them desperately,” stated former city council member Don Samuels. Samuels is a part of a lawsuit against the city for falling below charter requirements and lacking a sufficient number of police officers. Former Minneapolis police officer Steve Dykstra stated that many police officers in the area feel “helpless” due to lack of funding and skyrocketing crime rates, and added that the city has had issues for years with not giving law enforcement adequate resources.

Notable Quotes:

“This goes back before George Floyd. Since around 2015, I know the city of Minneapolis has been backpedaling, taking tools away from police to enforce the law and keep the streets safe.” - former Minneapolis police officer Steve Dykstra


 

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