“It took my brain five seconds to register what was happening,” Rebecca Brannon told Fox News’ Steve Doocy this morning. What was happening in Minneapolis? When Brannon’s interview with a candidate for law-enforcement leadership fell through, she decided to get a bite to eat at McDonalds. Instead, she got a ringside seat at a demonstration of how brazen crime has become in the Twin Cities and in metropolitan areas around the country (via Gary Gross):
Rebecca Brannon, an independent photojournalist, witnessed America’s growing crime crisis firsthand when she captured a video of armed criminals breaking into a car in the middle of a parking lot.
Brannon was set to meet with a candidate for sheriff of the Minneapolis police department. When the meeting fell through, she returned to her car and was going to drive home.
Side note: Fox got this confused. The Minneapolis PD has a chief, not a sheriff; Hennepin County has an elected sheriff, as is usual in most counties. Medaria Arradondo announced his retirement as police chief yesterday, so they may have assumed that Brannon was meeting with a candidate for replacing Arradondo . As she explains, she planned to interview a candidate for county sheriff.
Regardless, Brannon ended up watching armed men breaking into a car right in front of her while she ate. One of them fired a shot into the air, a dangerous act as bullets come down at a potentially fatal velocity:
“I had to play it very cool because I had already made contact – eye contact – with these guys in the parking lot,” she said, noting that other people also witnessed the gunshots and “laughed it off.”
“This is what the most disturbing part to me was: that it was normal. Nobody was going to mess with these guys. So I pretended to eat and tried to videotape what I could.” Brannon said she called the police, but no one ever showed up. She believes the Defund the Police movement is the reason for what’s happening in the city.
“Now I know technically we did not defund the police in Minneapolis, but I would argue that we have dismantled them,” she said. “Officers are demoralized.”
Why would they show up? Their community leadership doesn’t support the police, as Brannon points out. The outgoing city council president once insisted that calling police for property crime was an act of white privilege. And while the charter amendment that would have allowed the council to disband the police department failed in last month’s municipal election, it still got over 40% of the vote in Minneapolis.
And let’s face it, Minneapolis police are getting overwhelmed by armed robberies, carjackings, and shootings ever since the riots. Two months ago, police issued warnings to all rideshare drivers of carjacking rings targeting their vehicles. In the first six months after the riots, carjackings surged 537%; murders rose by 50%. All this transpired as the city council deliberately held down staffing numbers for the MPD by canceling recruitment, not to mention how their outright hostility to police led many officers to retire, take medical leave, or just find work elsewhere.
It’s not just Minneapolis where brazen crime has become the new normal. Twitchy notes that the flash-mob retail thefts in Chicago have gotten to the point where Mayor Lori Lightfoot finally has to answer for it. She puts the blame on … retailers:
Is Lori Lightfoot blaming Chicago businesses for crime? Is she actually implying they’re asking for it? Wow. pic.twitter.com/9O1YOqySoE
— Amanda (@FreeMediaUS) December 8, 2021
Mayor Lori Lightfoot blames smash and grab robberies on retailers.
The retails are “not doing enough,” according to the Mayor. pic.twitter.com/4XQrI1cLip
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) December 7, 2021
Retailers should have security, but they don’t have the authority to enforce the law. And if they did, Lightfoot and her allies would be in front of cameras lickety-split to decry any such action as abuse. Jonathan Turley hits the nail on the head:
Mayor Lightfoot just blamed businesses for not doing a better job on crime like having better cameras. It is akin to blaming slow moving game for poaching. The causes of crime however are well known and Chicago is a great example of the lack of deterrence.https://t.co/DmYKPV3ZBD
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) December 7, 2021
We will eventually learn — again — that the only way to keep the peace is with a robust police force, backed and overseen effectively by city government. There is no substitute.