Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo is trying to get through to the city council. As the Star Tribune reports, shooting fatalities are at the highest level in 15 years. Seventy-four people are dead and roughly 500 wounded in shootings so far in 2020.
“Resources are hemorrhaging," Arradondo said at Tuesday's Minneapolis City Council meeting. "Our city is bleeding at this moment. I’m trying to do all I can to stop that bleeding."
The police chief asked for additional funds to bring in 20 to 40 extra outside officers to patrol violent hot spots. But the city council was skeptical of Arradondo's requests.
“So, we’re going to take a thing that has not been working very well and has not been addressing carjackings, has not been addressing the rise in violent crime...and say if we just do 5% more of it, that will get us to a better place," Council Member Steve Fletcher argued. "I’m struggling to get my head around why that is a good idea."
"If you choose to say no to these victims of crime, then please stand by that,” Arradondo responded.
On Friday the council did very narrowly approve his plan, which now heads to Mayor Jacob Frey for approval. Frey has already indicated he supports the police chief's suggestion.
Minneapolis became a scene of unrest after the tragic police-involved killing of an African-American man, George Floyd, over the summer. The disturbing video shows officer Derek Chauvin pinning him to the ground and pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes, even after his body had gone still. His death sparked riots across Minneapolis, and later across the country.
The "Defund the Police" movement took off around the same time. The Minneapolis city council even considered measures to abolishing the police department.
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday took the first step toward abolishing its police department and replacing it with a department of community safety and violence prevention, the latest fallout from the killing of George Floyd by a city police officer last month.
The council on Friday unanimously approved sending to a public commission a proposed charter amendment that could ultimately end up on the November ballot. (Wall Street Journal)