MINNEAPOLIS — Sometimes, It’s hard to deny when you’re wrong. And it’s really hard to admit that you’re wrong about an issue that’s led to catastrophic events and skyrocketing crime, while trying to deflect blame for supporting strategies to “defund the police.” But Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is in a different category. He’s finally admitted that calls to slash police service have played a role in the crime wave plaguing his city.
“It’s just the reality of the solution, you know,” Mayor Frey acknowledged when asked by community leaders on how the “defund the police” movement contributed to the city’s crime spike, Blaze Media reported. “When you make big, overarching statements that we’re going to defund or abolish and dismantle the police department and get rid of all the officers, there’s an impact to that.”
Minneapolis has seen spikes in crime over the last year—along with other major cities that have sought to cripple law enforcement. According to WCCO, early 2021 data shows Minneapolis has a 250% increase in gunshot victims.
The surge in violent crime followed vows by the City Council to defund its police department in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Washington Examiner reported. The consequence—intended or otherwise—is that the city has lost a lot of valuable experience and institutional knowledge as cops have departed in large numbers.
Moreover, earlier this month Minneapolis leaders were working to sign off on workers’ compensation packages totaling close to $35 million to be paid to about 200 former police officers and firefighters who left amid the ongoing civil unrest, which has been tolerated by city leadership who have appeased rioters, Law Officer reported.
Although the City Council eventually agreed to spend an additional $6.4 million on law enforcement, as crime rates reached historic levels, the violence continues to plague the city, the Examiner reported.
“The violence needs to stop. It’s unacceptable,” Frey said. “People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood. They deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding those perpetrators accountable.”
Speaking candidly, the mayor says the city doesn’t have enough officers to respond to the high demand. As a result, he hopes the City Council will make an effort to work with police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
“It’s going to take a very comprehensive effort,” Frey said. “Yes, it includes safety beyond policing, and it includes police. And, you know, I’m one that has been working lockstep with our Chief Arradondo, and I’m calling on the council members to try to work with him as well.”
Even with the best of intentions, the damage done to the business community, citizens, and first responders cannot be ignored any longer.
Mayor Frey’s admission is a sign that there is quite a big mess to clean up. But whether or not that it will be cleaned up amid partisan politics and posturing remains to be seen.