Minneapolis officials have a mess on their hands.
Following the death of George Floyd, the City Council vowed to dismantle the city's police and encouraged anti-police protests.
But then the thing that happens when there's a law enforcement vacuum happened: Crime increased — bigly. And now the city is facing a wave of a type of crime that had been pretty infrequent: violent carjackings.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, cops have recorded almost 130 carjackings in the city over the last two months. Initially, they believed the crimes were happening mostly among bands of teenagers, but they soon discovered that it's not just marauding youths. Recent weeks have seen a rising number of adults being nabbed for carjacking, too.
And things are getting worse.
Just last Saturday, cops reported three separate carjackings in the span of one hour, the Star Tribune reported.
These types of attacks were up 537% for November, compared to one year ago.
The newspaper said Tuesday that Minneapolis has seen at least 375 carjackings in 2020, including 17 just last week. Those to-date 2020 figures are more than three times higher than all of 2019.
This current spate of attacks has been so significant that the Minneapolis Police Department was forced to create a new coding system after the violent protest-filled summertime saw an unusually high number of carjackings.
Minneapolis' remaining cops have been taken aback by the specific crime wave. "The numbers are staggering," police spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune. "It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency."
And the crime problem in Minneapolis is more than just carjackings. Violent crime, especially shootings, is way up. From the Star Tribune:
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."
Still, the city council — which has been forced to outsource its police work — is determined to continue its push to defund the police even further.
Several members of the council introduced a plan Friday that would institute additional cuts to the Minneapolis Police Department and make the city's reduction in law enforcement permanent. The plan would cut about $8 million from the police budget and shrink the MPD force by 15%.