After three recent surveillance videos surfaced showing brutal beatings associated with robberies in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Minneapolis city government has become embroiled in a heated debate over whether to increase staffing on the Minneapolis Police Department.
The most recent video, released by KARE-TV, shows a group of men savagely beating a victim at Target Field as they steal his belongings and some articles of his clothing.
Another surveillance video, which was given to KARE by a downtown business owner, shows a man being beaten after thieves snatch his cell phone. Police say that a total of 16 arrests have been made thus far in connection with the two attacks.
Downtown Minneapolis restaurant owner Ken Sherman says he gave police another surveillance video from his restaurant in July that shows the same thing happening to another man.
The two most recent videos, which depict assaults that happened in August, have re-ignited a debate between the Minneapolis mayor and city council about the mayor's proposal to add additional police officers to the Minneapolis Police Department force.
Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo say that an additional 14 officers are needed on the force. According to KARE, Frey and Arradondo explained to the city council this week that their proposal would add 3 additional investigators, 8 additional neighborhood outreach officers, and 3 additional traffic enforcement officers to the force.
However, according to KARE, some city council members believe that a better approach would be to revamp scheduling and staffing to ensure better coverage of downtown areas. One council member, Steve Fletcher, said, "I want to tie our investments to structural change that improves the performance of the police department."
Arradondo, meanwhile, has stated publicly that he wants to add an additional 400 offices to the force by 2025. The city currently has around 800 uniformed officers serving a city of approximately 425,000 residents. According to KARE, a poll released Monday shows that 63 percent of Minneapolis residents support Arradondo's plan.