We recently learned that as many as 150 officers from the Minneapolis Police Department have filed claims involving PTSD effects and are preparing to leave the force. Others are moving up their retirement dates if they have sufficient time in service to do so. But I’m sure everything is still okay, right? I mean, there are still lots of police on the job and we always have plenty of cops, particularly in a place that’s famous for that “Minnesota Nice” way of life.
Perhaps not so much. It’s true that there are still many officers on the beat, but for some reason, they don’t seem to be making as many stops and arrests. That’s particularly odd when you consider all of the unrest in the streets along with all of the wanton looting and vandalism taking place. Shouldn’t stops and arrests being going up rather than down? But their own records indicate that the opposite is happening. (Free Beacon)
The embattled Minneapolis Police Department has mostly ceased stopping and searching residents of the city, as resources are stretched thin by anti-cop protests and surging gun violence.
Official data released by the MPD show that cumulative stops fell 36 percent in the week after 3 officers killed George Floyd, sparking nationwide protests. That trend has persisted—over the week between July 6 and July 12, MPD officers made just 193 stops, down 77 percent from the same week in 2019.
Stops involving searches of people or their vehicles have also plummeted. MPD conducted just 20 over the week of July 12, and 11 the week before—87 and 90 percent declines, respectively, from the preceding year.
We’re obviously not talking about some momentary glitch in the data here. Compared to the same period last year, searches of vehicles and individuals are down by nearly half. And this is taking place at that same time that the city has experienced a nearly unprecedented increase in shootings. Stops and arrests are down by similar numbers.
The fact that the police aren’t doing as many “stop and frisk” checks and vehicle inspections is believed to have dampened their ability to continue to take unlicensed firearms off the streets. When this is looked at in the context of a spike in shootings, we’re asking “coincidence” to do some awfully heavy lifting to say that the two factors aren’t related.
But should this really be coming as a surprise? The Minnesota PD is out there on the streets in ground zero for the defund or abolish the police movements. They’re not only facing an increasing volume of violent crime in the community but rising levels of violence directed against the men and women in uniform. At the same time, it’s obvious that City Hall and the City Council don’t have their backs since they are moving forward with plans to seriously cut their funding if not eliminate the force altogether.
On top of that, the risk factor for the police when stopping anyone has increased significantly and they know it. Criminals will be emboldened to resist arrest, violently if need be, knowing that the cops will be worried about any repercussions from getting physical with them. And it apparently takes little more than an accusation whispered to the local media for the officers to suddenly become the ones facing arrest and prosecution.
With all of that in mind, who wants to go out and risk their necks for a community that’s decided they don’t want to support them and elected officials who are more than willing to throw them under the bus if it avoids another round of riots? This is quickly turning into a downward spiral in terms of public safety. Fewer cops who are less willing to engage suspects leads to more violence and crime. And the cycle continues. If the City of Minneapolis can’t find a way to restore order in the streets soon, they likely won’t have much of a city left to operate.
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