MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A landlord in Minneapolis, Minnesota alleges that he was viciously attacked by at least two people when he was attempting to have several stolen cars towed off of his property.
Minneapolis landlord Dale Howey says he was attempting to have stolen cars towed from his property last week when a group of teens claiming the cars were their attacked him.
— Adam Duxter (@AdamDuxter) January 5, 2022
Dale Howey is the landlord for eleven different properties throughout the Twin Cities area and was contacted by tenants of one of his properties on December 30th regarding several vehicles illegally parked.
Howey went to check on the property, the Green Rock Apartments, at 2440 Harriet Avenue to see for himself.
When Howey got there, he noticed several vehicles parked behind the apartment complex that was illegally parked. He also noticed that there was a tag missing on one of the vehicles which he considered a red “flag.”
Howey somehow checked the status of some of the vehicles and learned that many of them were reported as stolen.
Howey contacted a towing company to have them respond to remove the vehicles from his property.
At some point, before the vehicles were towed, Howey alleges at least two people, possibly teenagers, approached him and yelled that at least one of the vehicles belonged to them. Howey said:
“They said ‘Hey man, that’s our car!’ I said it’s listed as stolen, and it’s being towed…One guy comes up and puts his phone right in my face, and I swatted it out of the way and the other guy clocks me.”
Howey does not know what happened to him after that first punch because he was knocked unconscious. He does know that he woke up in the Hennepin County Medical Center roughly an hour later with several injuries.
Howey alleges he suffered a broken cheekbone, broken eye socket, and sustained a concussion from the beating.
He also received three inches worth of staples to sew together a portion of his skull which had been lacerated during the attack.
The Minneapolis Police Department is working to identify the person or persons responsible for the attack, but according to Howey, their work on the case will be delayed. Howey said the police noted that they have other more serious cases that they have to investigate before they can get to his. He said:
“[Police are] working on beginning of December cases. Cases that are more serious than mine.”
Howey is hoping the police can capture those responsible before they hurt anyone else. He said:
“These kids obviously have an ax to grind, it’s not with me. I’m trying to make things better for everybody.”
Minneapolis Police Department and city leaders are well aware of the increase in violent acts like the one described by Howey.
At a news conference on January 5th, Interim Minneapolis Police Chief Amelia Huffman explained that responding to the rising crime in the city has become more difficult with the number of officers that have left the agency and the low number of applicants to replace them.
According to the Minnesota Reformer, the agency has 300 officers that are either on some type of leave or have left the department entirely since May of 2020 when they had approximately 900 officers.
Currently, as of December of 2021, the department has roughly 641 sworn officers, 40 of those on some type of continual leave. Huffman said:
“We have lost capacity due to attrition in every part of the Minneapolis Police Department.”
To combat the surge in violence, both the Mayor and Huffman have announced that they will be increasing enforcement efforts and increasing recruiting efforts of new police officers.
The hope is that the new officers will be able to quell the increase of gun violence and armed robberies that have plagued the city since the death of George Floyd.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Saturday:
“Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council last week agreed to a $1.6 billion budget that includes just over $191 million for the Police Department (MPD), restoring its funding to nearly the level it held before George Floyd was killed in 2020.”
According to the paper, the “urgency faded as crime surged and the ‘defund police’ message became a police liability.”
After the death of Floyd, attributed to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis saw a push to defund the department, along with the aforementioned proposal to abolish the department.
All of that changed after Minneapolis experienced a crime wave of near epic proportions, a malady suffered by a host of Democrat-run cities across the country.
Last June, nine of the city council’s members out of thirteen voted to begin the process of dismantling the police department.
“We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis,” the council wrote in June 2020, only weeks after Floyd’s death.
Just days later, the council passed a resolution in which they declared “the intent to create a transformative new model for cultivating safety” for the Minneapolis PD.
Only a few months later, by September of last year, violent crime in the city spiked, along with property crimes. Arson increased by 55% compared to the same time period in 2019.
The crime increase occurred while at the same time, some 100 police officers quit the department in the first nine months of 2020.
As time went on, Minneapolis city leaders began to realize the error of their ways, and by February of this year, the city council voted unanimously to allocate an additional $6.4 million in funding to the police department as crime in the city exploded.
In May, the city’s feckless mayor Jacob Frey (D) who had been an advocate of defunding the department changed course and was forced to admit that limiting law enforcement had caused the spike in violent crime.
“It’s just the reality of the situation, you know,” Frey said. “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. We need accountability and culture shift within our department, and we need police.”
“It’s going to take a very comprehensive effort,” Frey continued. “Yes, it includes safety beyond policing, and it includes police. And, you know, I’m one that has been working lock step with our Chief Arradondo, and I’m calling on the council members to try to work with him as well.”
In approving the additional appropriation to the police department’s budget, some city council members complained about it, yet remained silent, unlike last year, when a number of them insisted on taking money out of the police budget and directing it elsewhere.
“There wasn’t more of that type of action because there wasn’t the political will, really, to do so,” said councilor Phillipe Cunningham, who lost his reelection bid last month.
It was Cunningham who actually helped push the defunding effort last year and direct the funding into violence prevention and similar programs.
The increase in police funding was met with relief by some community groups in Minneapolis, who saw it as confirmation that elected officials were willing to abide by campaign promises to boost funding for the police, as well as other public safety services, such as the Office of Violence Prevention, which received $11.3 million in funding.
One individual who was pleased with the funding increase was Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council and one who spoke in favor of increasing the police budget.
“This vote is a first step on a long road back from the division over public safety that has characterized the past 18 tumultuous months in Minneapolis,” Cramer said.
Not everyone in Minneapolis was happy, including some activists who viewed it as ignoring so-called “lessons learned” after Floyd’s death, while directing too much money into a department which they claim has a history of racial issues.
“I think many people in Minneapolis feel dismayed,” said Kenza Hadj-Moussa, according to Star Tribune.
Hadj-Moussa, a spokeswoman for TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive organization continued, “What we’ve seen [is], year after year, no matter what’s happening with crime, the MPD always demands more resources.”
Cunningham, along with Council President Lisa Bender and member Steve Fletcher advocated a “Safety for All” budget, which looked to move about $8 million from the mayor’s police budget to other services, specifically those focused on mental health and violence prevention.
Last month, Minneapolis voters overwhelmingly voted to reject the ballot measure which would have eliminated the police department and replaced it with a department of public safety. After that vote went down in flames, budget negotiations opened up just two weeks later.
The “dismantle the police department” activists dominated the final budget hearings, the Star Tribune said, with many asking the city council to block Frey’s proposed budget increase to the budget as opposed to cutting it.
The activists are also insisting on having racial discrimination investigations into the department work in a parallel fashion, with one activist claiming to have collected some 1,500 accounts of people’s interactions with the Minneapolis PD.
Dave Bicking of Communities United Against Police Brutality said, “I the mayor and the City Council have circled the wagons, and nothing is going to change unless they are forced to.”
Four council members voted against the budget, complaining about the increase to the police budget. Two councilors proposed a $3.75 million measure which would “boost mental health services, interrupt cycles of violence and evaluate which 911 calls could be handled by other agencies.”
That money will not come from the police budget but instead from the city’s general fund.
“Those of us who have stepped into leadership around public safety have had to deal with the worst backlashes and harassment and the biggest hits so folks, after a really tough election, there just wasn’t the will to do so, to fight such a major increase,” Cunningham said.
Frey joined in with the council, telling councilors he supported the programs they were seeking to boost, however suggested them to use federal aid instead. The city’s top financial officer had cautioned that depleting the city’s general fund would likely violate financial policies requiring a budget reserve.
The Star Tribune said that despite disagreements over the budget, Frey and city councilors had expressed support for expanding violence prevention programs.
“Nothing is more in flux right now in our city than our public safety needs, and our ways to address them have to be this both-and approach,” said Council Member Linea Palmisano, who was reelected last month.
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