Democrat Minneapolis mayor demands schools stay open to avoid increases in violent crime

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – School leaders in Minneapolis, Minnesota are contemplating school closures due to the increase of COVID positive cases in the area.

And it’s a move that the mayor believes would add to the violent crime the city is already plagued by.

Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey argued against school closures on January 5th so that the area can try to get a handle on the increases in violent crimes caused by juvenile offenders.

The mayor believes that by keeping the schools open, it will lessen the boredom kids face and may potentially keep them out of trouble. Frey said:

“We’ve gotta keep the schools open. This is very clear to me. Yes, we need to make sure we’re abiding by the necessary safety precautions.

Yes, we need to make sure anyone from parents to teachers to students are protected in full from the dangers associated with a global pandemic, and we need to make sure the students are in the schools and that they’re able to learn.

“When we don’t have that, boredom sets in. And boredom is no excuse for carjacking. But it’s on all of us to make sure that these recreational, educational activities continue.”

Frey’s argument makes it clear he believes that the violent crime spree that the city has seen will only increase if schools are closed down. He said:

“There’s 100 different causal factors associated with the increase in crime that we’ve seen over the last year and a half.

It’s the fact we’ve had distanced learning and recreational activities have been slim to at time none.

We need to make sure that these recreational activities, these opportunities for kids to safely play and have something to do, are dramatically increased and that they come back.”

The city of Minneapolis has seen an increase in carjackings and other violent crimes over the course of 2021.

Frey begins to note that “every single major city” in the country has seen an increase in violent crime, however, as he puts it, “who cares.”

His words do not mean that rising violent crime elsewhere is not important, but notes that the people in the city of Minneapolis are more concerned about violence there than anywhere else.

He said:

“The violent and criminal conduct we have seen in Minneapolis and surrounding cities throughout the last several months is garbage.

I could stand up here and tell you, and many will, that this is a national trend. That every single major city in the entire country is seeing an uptick in violent crime – in shootings, carjackings, home invasions. And that’s true.

But who cares? You live in this city. I live in this city.

We are responsible for doing everything to stop this violent criminal conduct and holding perpetrators accountable and working on every single possible upstream solution that we can.”

Minneapolis Deputy Chief of Police Amelia Huffman spoke about the level of violent crime that has been occurring in the city throughout 2021. Huffman noted that over 650 people had been shot and over 2,000 robberies had been reported.

Over 650 of the reported robberies were carjackings.

The Minneapolis Police Department has lost several police officers since the death of George Floyd in 2020.

According to the Star Tribune in October, the agency had roughly 588 full-time police officers which roughly 300 less than were on the books when Floyd died.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Six weeks after vote to dismantle police lost, Minneapolis funds department to nearly pre-Floyd levels

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- Just over a month after voters in Minneapolis shot down a proposal to eliminate the city’s police department, The Blaze is reporting that last week, the city approved $191 million for the police department, which restores its funding to nearly the level it was at prior to the George Floyd death.

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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