The Minneapolis City Council that passed a unanimous resolution in June for a “transformative new model” of law enforcement is confused and livid over rising crime and slow response times by cops.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo was peppered with questions by council members this week on everything from a spike in armed robberies to illegal street racing.
“This is not new, but it is very concerning in the current context,” Council President Lisa Bender said of claims that cops were turning a blind eye to various crimes, the Star Tribune reported Wednesday. “So, I think there are a number of possible explanations for this. I think it’s possible they are essentially campaigning … because they don’t support the council member or, in some cases, the mayor, or perhaps they think that they are making the case for more resources for the department.”
Another member, Phillipe Cunningham, said he was stunned by seesawing rhetoric by his peers since the May death of George Floyd while in police custody.
“What I am sort of flabbergasted by is … colleagues who a very short time ago who were calling for abolition, who are now suggesting that we should be putting more funding and resources into MPD. We know that this is not producing different outcomes,” he said.
The newspaper noted a macabre statistic regarding 59 homicides, which nearly doubles the city’s year-to-date average since 2015.
“Too often, we as police departments, we are dealing in a reactionary mode,” the chief explained. “We have oftentimes come to finding crime as opposed to preventing it. If we just stayed status quo, right now, we will end this year with numbers that are absolutely unconscionable about what we should have in terms of community violence, and we don’t do a deep dive as a city as to what caused all of those.”
The chief added that council members will be forced to make principled compromises if they are serious about changing the status quo.
“That may mean you making commitments that might be uncomfortable for some of those constituents that you represent, but if your ultimate goal is to have true community safety, I will tell you right now, we have to work together in that effort,” Mr. Arradondo said.
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