Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (Image source: WCCO-TV video screenshot)
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Minneapolis made waves last year as it got the leftist mantra of "defund the police" rolling to the point that it became a national movement and political priority for much of the progressive left in 2020. Now the mayor has admitted that the loud cries to get rid of the police contributed to the current spike in crime.
What's going on now?
The city council vowed last year in the wake of the death of George Floyd to get rid of the police, and Mayor Jacob Frey did little to stand in their way, despite claiming that he did not want to fully abolish the police — which famously upset protesters who confronted him on the subject.
As the movement to defund the police gained steam, crime in the city began to increase as cops left the force. After a while, the same city council that trashed cops and threatened to gut their departments realized the city needed help, and they were forced to outsource its police work.
Just a few months later, the council voted so spend an additional $6.4 million on the police. But the damage had already been done.
Crime has been spiking in Minneapolis. Just last weekend, seven people were shot in a span of 12 hours, according to WCCO-TV.
The problem has become so severe that Mayor Frey is holding meetings with community leaders in an attempt find solutions to the spike in violent crime. And he has been forced to admit that the calls to abolish the police are at least partly responsible.
Last Friday, Frey told citizens the city needs to get to work stopping the criminals.
"The violence needs to stop, it's unacceptable," he said, WCCO reported. "People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood, they deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That's unacceptable. We should be holding those perpetrators accountable."
He added that the city currently doesn't have enough officers to respond to the city's crime needs, and he hopes city council members will actually try to work with Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
"It's going to take a very comprehensive effort," Frey added. "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."
But at least one community leader, Pastor Dale Hume, was not going to let the city's leadership off the hook easily and made sure to let Frey know that the anti-police rhetoric coming from the city council played a role in the spike in crime.
"To people who think that the easy solution to this is defund the police, when you live here and something like this happens, you can obviously see that is not the solution," Hume said, WCCO reported.
Frey said he agrees.
"It's just the reality of the solution, you know," the mayor admitted. "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."
He added, "We need accountability and culture shift within our department, and we need police."
According to WCCO, the mayor intends to release a new plan this week that includes increased public safety and police accountability.
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