MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis City Council members, who just two months ago moved to eliminate the police department, sounded the alarm during a Wednesday meeting about a rise in crime.
As a result, council members queried Chief Medaria Arradondo about the surge in crimes that included daytime carjackings, robberies, assaults, shootings and street racing.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” said Council Member Jamal Osman, noting that constituents’ calls to the Minneapolis Police Department have gone unanswered. “That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen,” Minnesota Public Radio reported.
Council President Lisa Bender accused police of intentionally not enforcing laws or making arrests.
“This is not new,” Bender said. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”
Arradondo, who has served as police chief since 2017, called her comments “troubling to hear” and pledged to address the issue with departmental supervisors, FOX reported.
“We need to make sure that our communities know that we are going to be there, that we’re going to be responsive,” he said. “We’ve taken an oath to do that.”
The Minneapolis Police Department’s crime data shows a rise in assaults, robberies and homicides, as well as property crimes and arson, according to MPR. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than those slain in all of last year.
Furthermore, Arradondo said about 100 officers have left the department or have taken a leave of absence since the start of the year, MPR reported. This is more than double the typical number of officers who leave in a given year.