Local restaurant owner says Minneapolis “is run by gangs” and desperately calls for more policing

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – According to a recent report, a local restaurant owner spoke about crime impacting the city of Minneapolis and alleged that the “city is run by gangs”.

He remarked on how the low morale in policing is creating a detrimental effect for safety overall.

The owner of Seven Steakhouse Sushi & Rooftop in Minneapolis, Ken Sherman, recently spoke up about the crime in his city, saying that it seems the only thing criminals are afraid of these days are even worse criminals:

“This city is run by gangs. The only thing a bad guy is afraid of is a badder guy.”

Sherman explained that point in furtherance, saying that individuals hosting malintent aren’t dissuaded unless they come across something that serves as a direct threat to them – and he simply isn’t seeing police making patrols like they used to:

“I’m on a rooftop on Hennepin and Seventh. I can be on that rooftop on a Saturday night and get there at 9 or 10 p.m. be there till 2-2:30 a.m. and never see a police car and absolutely never see a policeman walking down the street.”

“The only police we see are off-duty cops hired by other bars or restaurants.”

But Sherman doesn’t think this is necessarily a problem created by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Instead, he says that this is an issue stemming from the low morale instilled by an overzealous city council that sought to condemn the entire police force over the past year:

“The moment that the city council condemned an entire group of men, many of whom have devoted years of their life to keep us safe, and said that they were systemically racist and they should be abolished, they destroyed the morale of the MPD.”

“Now what you hear about is how 250 members of the police force have left, but that’s okay now according to the politicians because now they are going to fund to get more cops.”

Sherman was being slightly sarcastic in that sense when saying “but that’s okay now according to the politicians because now they are going to fund to get more cops,” because he sees the situation as 250 officers with years of experiencing leaving the force, only to be replaced by inexperienced officers.

What seems to upset Sherman the most in the city council’s characterization of the MPD is the notion that somehow the entire police force is systemically racist:

“In terms of them being systematically racist, I take issue with that.”

He explained that while there can certainly be racist individuals within a police department, he added that any entity composed of a large amount of people can inadvertently host these sorts of unsavory individuals:

“There certainly are members of the police force who are racist; there are members of the realtors association who are racist; there are members of every organization that are racist.”

Another area Sherman believes is causing the low morale within the MPD is the fear of losing their jobs or being sued – or worse – for making a mistake while on the job.

Sherman also added that there is a real fear within the police department that an officer could be shot – and no one would bat an eye if it were to happen:

“If a cop gets shot, nobody seems to care.”

These days, Sherman feels like reaching out to elected officials is almost pointless, saying that officials never seem to acknowledge these sorts of concerns that he and others feel within the community:

“I don’t talk to the city. I don’t talk to the politicians. I’ve given up. There’s no point.”

When it comes to running his restaurant, Sherman feels that the only thing he can depend on now is the effectiveness of his hired security outside the restaurant – which consists of roughly 15 people patting down customers and waving wands to ensure customers don’t have the propensity to cause trouble while inside:

“We just know [the police] aren’t coming, so we do it ourselves, and we’re fine with that.”

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As crime explodes in Minneapolis, activists have come one step closer to abolishing the police department

(Originally published August 9th, 2021)

This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A ballot measure that will ask voters in Minneapolis in November whether they’d like to see the Minneapolis Police Department replaced with an ambiguously defined “Department of Public Safety” could radically change how policing is conducted in the city – if the ballot measure is successful.

In late July, the Minneapolis City Council approved the ballot question language related to whether voters in the city would like to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and have that replaced with a “Department of Public Safety”, which this measure will be voted on by residents in the upcoming municipal general election on November 2nd.

This ballot measure that voters in Minneapolis will be deciding on was proposed by the group known as Yes 4 Minneapolis, and the group’s website revolves around advocacy of “changing the charter” – a reference to the Minneapolis City Charter that outlines specifics of policing, such as how many police officers need to be hired.

According to Yes 4 Minneapolis’ website, which boasted that abolishing the MPD is now “on the ballot”, gives the following synopsis of what the “Department of Public Safety” is that the group would like to see replace the MPD:

“The Department of Public Safety will change the current police-only model of public safety, to allow the City of Minneapolis a funded, accountable and comprehensive public health approach to public safety.

This will allow us to be both proactive and responsive to the community, adding a range of strategies, right-sized responses, experts, professional personnel, and licensed peace officers (also known as, police officers), when necessary.”

When reviewing the text of the actual measure that will be presented to voters this November, the primary focus goes into explicit detail on the abolishment of the MPD through amending the City Charter – but only offers vague explanations on what residents in the city would be getting in return post-abolishment of the MPD.

As noted in the “explanatory note” of the ballot measure language, a clear picture is provided on how the MPD will be dismantled – to include much of the powers the mayor held with the police force in Minneapolis – but little more than a concept is what Minneapolis residents will get in return if they vote to approve this measure:

“This amendment would create a new Department of Public Safety, which would:

(1) Combine public safety functions of the City of Minneapolis into a comprehensive public health approach to safety, with the specific public safety functions to be determined.

(2) Include licensed peace officers (police officers) if necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the Department of Public Safety.

(3) Be led by a Commissioner of Public Safety. The appointment process for the Commissioner would include a Mayor nomination and a City Council appointment. The Mayor would not have complete power over the establishment, maintenance, and command of the Department of Public Safety.

This amendment would also do the following:

(1) Remove from the Charter a Police Department, which includes the removal of its Police Chief, and the removal of the Mayor’s complete power over the establishment, maintenance, and command of the Police Department.

(2) Remove the City Council requirement to fund a police force of at least 1.7 employees per 1,000 residents.

(3) Remove City Council authorization to impose additional taxation on taxable property in the City of Minneapolis of up to 0.3 percent of its value annually to fund the compensation of employees of the police

force.”

As noted in the above “explanatory note” regarding the ballot measure, there’s nothing that really defines what the “Department of Public Safety” would actually do – or look like – with the ballot measure even admitting in its own language that “the specific public safety functions” are “to be determined”.

It’s frankly concerning enough that a ballot measure proposing to literally abolish the police department in Minneapolis will be presented to voters this November, which those voters will undoubtedly be delivered a continuous feed of guilt-inducing propaganda to vote in favor of the measure.

But what makes the matter even worse is that whatever would potentially replace the MPD isn’t even fully articulated by the proponents who managed to get this on the November ballot.

As it stands, this “Department of Public Safety” only notes one element of hierarchical structure (being led by a “Commissioner of Public Safety”), claims the department will only “include licensed peace officers (police officers) if necessary”, and what the department will do is basically “to be determined”.

Not to mention, with this sort of wing-it approach that is being presented by the proponents of the “Department of Public Safety”, it’s not even clear how much it will cost to establish and maintain this vaguely defined department.

Sure, it could perhaps cost less than the current costs associated with the MPD in a monetary sense, but it could also potentially cost even more than the current ticket price imposed on taxpayers for the MPD since such broad terms have been used to explain (or rather, not explain) what the “Department of Public Safety” will do.

This is extremely dangerous to even entertain having come to fruition, because no one in Minneapolis – to include the propagators of this ballot measure – knows what the “Department of Public Safety” will actually be, do, or how it will be structured to accomplish what the crafters of the ballot measure haven’t even adequately defined yet.

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