Ho hum, just another couple of months in the reduced-policing utopia known as Minneapolis. With fewer police on the street, that must mean that residents in the city that made “abolish the police” official policy must be enjoying a more peaceful and free life, right? Well, some are — and the rest are paying for it:
Over the past two months, Minneapolis police have logged more than 125 carjackings in the city, a troubling surge that authorities had largely linked to small groups of marauding teens. But an increasing number of adults have been arrested in recent weeks for the same crime.
Within a one-hour period Saturday morning, police reported three separate carjackings in southeast Minneapolis, including one where an elderly woman was struck on the head. Such attacks are up 537% this month when compared with last November.
“The numbers are staggering,” said police spokesman John Elder. “It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency.”
Five hundred and thirty seven percent in a year. Let that statistic roll around in your noggin for a few moments. What could possibly have happened over the past year to allow that sort of explosion in armed robberies, which is exactly what carjackings are? Could it be the city council’s push to get rid of the police, and the exodus of law-enforcement officers that resulted from it? Oh, let’s not always see the same hands.
As our friend James Lileks wrote on Monday, this isn’t all coming from the poorer areas of the north side, either. The violence is beginning to meander to more wealthy neighborhoods, as the violent criminals have had time and resources to organize and look for more lucrative targets. One housekeeper got three bullets through her window outside of her clients’ house, and decided to fight back — which turned out a lot better than it might have:
She wasn’t hit. She started her car and rammed the vehicle that blocked her. Whereupon the bad guys got in the car and fled. Whereupon she gave chase.
Unwise, but impressive.
There was a cop car nearby, miracle of miracles, and he stopped to give assistance to the victim. They dd not give chase. The cops explained that there was a big gang of carjackers, quite modern in its multiethnic makeup, and they’d gotten some, but more were out there. They’d been hitting the north end of the lakes, and apparently had moved south to see what rich nuts could be cracked.
I should also note that the middle area between the north and south end of the lakes has experienced a zesty spate of carjacking as well, and every time I go to pick up Daughter I have my eyes peeled for the youts, the car that darts in front of mine. There are times I relax and then I remember that I am sitting at an intersection where every corner in this previously bustling commercial district is boarded up. The plywood still has murals. The murals enjoin us to heal and to love and to account for our sins.
Apparently this housekeeper didn’t get the Minneapolis “lie back and think of England” memo to cooperate with criminals. That’s not bad advice when they have a gun pointed at you, either. A car is not worth your life, after all. But when it’s all you have to allow you to earn a living, you’re not going to want to blithely surrender it just so the city council can feel good about themselves, either.
It’s not just carjackings either. Murders have hit 15-year highs, too:
The spree comes amid a nearly unprecedented spike in violent crime, particularly shootings, since the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody and the civil unrest that followed.
In November, the toll of people shot this year surpassed 500 in Minneapolis, the most in 15 years. Seventy-nine homicides is the highest count since the mid-1990s, an era when the city earned the grim moniker “Murderapolis.”
What does the city council have to say for the state of affairs over which they have presided? Lileks notes that council president Lisa Bender still continues to “unspool an endless bolt of fatuous vapidity” as crime explodes under her leadership:
A lot of the other incidents like car thefts and armed robberies are also related to groups that are known to the city, that are known to law enforcement. So for me the package looks like increasing accountability for law enforcement, investing in community-based safety strategies that we know work to prevent violence, investing in alternatives to policing so that we’re not relying on police to answer every single kind of call that’s coming into 911, so that we have a more holistic system of safety that’s working to keep people safe.
It’s thinking like that which has given the impression of impunity to criminals throughout the Twin Cities. In fact, it’s not an “impression” at all. It’s reality, thanks to the battered and retreating police department and the hostility of this city council to the rule of law.