It’s a record breaking year in Minnesota and not one to brag about. The state saw the highest number of murders on record in 2020, as well the most assaults against police officers in the line of duty ever recorded within a one-year period, according to the annual uniform crime report released by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Tuesday.
Minnesota recorded a 16.6% increase in violent crimes in 2020. There were 185 murders in 2020 in Minnesota compared to 117 in 2019, an increase of 58.1%, the report says. The 2020 number also tops by two the 183 total from 1995, which previously had been the highest total. Also, 75% of the murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, up from 69% in 2019.There were 667 incidents last year involving an officer or officers assaulted in the line of duty. That represents a 62% increase over 2019, and more than any other year on record, the report says.
Reverend Jerry McAfee, a civil rights activist who organized community patrols in north Minneapolis in response to a series of shootings that left at least two children dead this year, said the numbers of assaults, rapes and other violent crime counted by the bureau may be underreported.
“When you have a police force operating 200 under, the distrust some of the people have with the police department, some good, some bad, and the overall level of trauma that exists within our community, it’s rough out here,” McAfee told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Activist K.G. Wilson said that after his 6-year-old granddaughter was killed by stray bullets earlier this year, that he is leaving Minneapolis.
“I’m just done in Minneapolis. I don’t want to work here. I don’t want to be here,” Wilson told Fox 9 Minneapolis in an on-camera interview Tuesday. Despite his efforts, Wilson said, “All I feel like I got in return is a murdered 6-year-old granddaughter and no arrests, and it’s been two months later.”
The bureau report says there were 31 officer-involved shooting incidents recorded in 2020, an increase of six over 2019, and almost evenly split between the Twin Cities metro and Greater Minnesota.
After a significant downward trend over the past several years, arson rose 53.7% over 2019. There were 710 arsons reported in 2020 and 462 in 2019. Motor vehicle theft rose 19.7% in 2020 with 13,662 vehicles stolen as compared to 11,410 in 2019. The 2020 total is the highest since 2005.
The value of property stolen in 2020 topped $216 million, a 54.5% increase over 2019. Some of the biggest increases were in the value of stolen food and grooming products, money and vehicles.