The city council's proposal will not be put to a public referendum in the November ballot thanks to the intervention of the Minneapolis Charter Commission. Despite this, the police are still recovering from the near-endless rioting in their city as well as the damage caused to its morale by groups like Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement and the threats to its continued existence thrown at them by the most vocal anti-police members the city council, like known Antifa affiliate Jeremiah Ellison, who regularly talks about how they are going to “dismantle” the MPD.
At an over two-hour long hearing, Arradondo and the city council discussed how their constituents can recover from the surge in violent crimes they are now experiencing. Some of these crimes include carjackings, assaults and homicides.
Several members of the city council described conversations they had with constituents. Council President Lisa Bender said that her constituents were not being served by the MPD. She said that the police told her constituents that the council needs to hire more officers or else the violence will continue.
Bender is further alleging that the MPD are “campaigning” either to get the current city councilmembers replaced with more pro-police candidates or to get them to change their minds regarding defunding the police department.
“How do we get this under control?” asked Bender.
Other councilmembers have expressed similar instances wherein their constituents have pleaded with them to support the police in order to solve the city's current crime wave.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” said Councilman Jamal Osman. “[The MPD are] the only public safety option they have at the moment. They rely on MPD.”
Chief Arradondo, the first African American to serve as the MPD's chief of police, said that the comments from councilmembers like Bender and Osman are very “troubling to hear.”
In a show of good faith towards a government body that has shown the MPD nothing but contempt for the past few months, Arradondo promised that he would address the issue with departmental supervisors.
Arradondo noted that many of the city's residents are currently very apprehensive about calling the MPD during emergency cases, as a lot of them feel like they are “being held hostage” by the anti-police environment. This environment is perpetrated by the city's chapters of Antifa and the Black Lives Matter movement, and supported by the city council.
Arradondo further stated that both the councilmembers and their constituents will need to figure out how to move forward as the MPD gets effectively abolished. (Related: Defanged Minneapolis police tell residents to “be prepared” to be robbed, providing instructions on how to “comply” with criminals.)
“That may mean you making commitments that might be uncomfortable for some of those constituents that you represent,” said Arradondo, speaking to the city council. “If your ultimate goal is to have true community safety, I will tell you right now, we have to work together in that effort.”
Other Democrat-controlled cities like Minneapolis are also experiencing surging crime rates. Listen to this episode of the Health Ranger Report, a podcast by Mike Adams, the Health ranger, as he talks about how liberal cities are collapsing under the combined pressures of the pandemic, the engineered rioting and decades of ineffective Democratic Party governance.
During the discussion regarding the surging crime rate, Councilman Phillipe Cunningham pointed out how his fellow councilmembers were backtracking on their earlier pledges to demolish the MPD.
“What I am sort of flabbergasted by right now 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.”
Cunningham represents Minneapolis' Fourth Ward, where a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed on Monday and two other people were wounded by stray bullets entering their homes.
Despite this, the councilman is determined that the city council needs to push forward with instituting some of the alternative policing policies that they came up with, such as the hiring of unarmed “violence interrupters,” who will intervene and defuse violent confrontations. The council will be funding this new team with $1 million taken from the police budget.
“If we have these systems in place, we are getting ahead of the violence,” said Cunningham, determined that the MPD should remain defunded. “That is why I have advocated so strongly for the violence interrupters, because if they are interrupting the violence before the guns are being fired, then the MPD doesn't have to respond to that violence.”
According to Chief Arradondo, around 100 officers have resigned from the MPD or have taken a leave of absence since the year started, which is more than twice the regular number of officers who step down or are inactive.
As the statements from the councilmembers have shown, this has dire effects. For 2020, there have been 382 shooting incidents and 59 homicides, the highest numbers the city has seen in 15 years.
Despite this, Arradondo is still willing to work with the city council. He said that he would like the city council to help him do “deeper research” on what has caused a lot of the violence in the city.
Arradondo explained that the MPD often finds itself acting as a reactionary force, instead of a preventative one. If the MPD, the city council and the rest of the city are unable to come together to try and solve this, Arradondo warns that when the year ends Minneapolis will have an unconscionably high body count.
The vote to defund the police has been delayed. The city is experiencing a massive rise in violent crimes. Recent polling shows that, while the residents of Minneapolis are in favor of shifting some of the department's funding to social services, nearly half of the city's voters are not in favor of reducing the size of the police force. Given all these factors, the city council needs to act fast in order to not lose the support of the city it was elected to serve and protect.
Learn more about the effects that the police defunding and abolition movements have done to cities like Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland by subscribing to and reading the articles at PoliceViolence.news.