Minneapolis Warns Rideshare Drivers After 12 Carjackings in 7 Days as City Considers Abolishing Police

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 10:00 AM
Minneapolis Warns Rideshare Drivers After 12 Carjackings in 7 Days as City Considers Abolishing Police

Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the race riots and looting have largely subsided, but in the wake of the widely covered crime sprees as city blocks worth of small businesses burned, crime has not gone down. Like many other major cities, crime is spiking — especially carjackings. 

Last week, after more than four dozen instances of rideshare drivers being held up since the end of the summer, Minneapolis decided to issue a "citywide crime alert" for Uber and Lyft drivers within Minneapolis: beware carjackers.

Local crime watchers say the citywide alert is too little, too late, amid an already reduced police department with fewer capabilities to advise the public — those responsibilities were seized by the anti-cop city council — and adequately patrol the city's streets.

The citywide crime alert warns rideshare drivers to stay alert and wary of delays, but doesn't say anything about what the city's leaders are doing to address the rising crime that continues to ravage Minneapolis streets.

For Ride-Share Operators

Stay aware of your surroundings, even when in a locked vehicle.

Avoid using your phone for more than a couple of seconds.

Be extra cautious if asked to wait for the customer(s).

If you are not in a populated area with visible pedestrian and vehicle traffic, leave immediately if you see one or more vehicles or individuals approaching nearby.

The alert continues with advice for rideshare drivers who find themselves in the unenviable position of being a carjacking victim:

Give up the vehicle – do not fight to keep the car.

If you are confronted by an assailant(s), remain calm, do not argue.

Along with a description of the suspect(s), try to remember any unique physical characteristics (scars, limp, acne, teeth, manner of speech, etc…).

Never pursue fleeing assailants – provide information and suspect(s) descriptions to responding officers.

If video surveillance equipment is available, please save a copy of the incident for investigating detectives.

If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information.

Contact 911 immediately and remain on scene, if possible.

The alert comes after a spate of attacks on rideshare drivers. According to the Twin Cities' CBS affiliate, "Police say since mid-August, more than 40 Uber and Lyft drive[r]s have been robbed or carjacked," with 12 happening in a recent seven-day span. In at least one incident, a Lyft driver took matters into her own hands to escape carjackers:

Lyft driver Tanika Tatum explained a scary situation she encountered Thursday night while dropping off a passenger in Minneapolis. Tatum said her car was pinned in by several vehicles, when a man abruptly approached her.

“A young Black man jumped out, opened my door, put a gun in my face and told me ‘get out of the car,'” Tatum said.

Tatum did not get out and instead drove through the cars. She and the passenger eventually got to a safe place.

“How do you protect yourself in that situation?” Tatum asked. “I hit the button on my Lyft app to say ‘hey send us help.’ It was slow getting help in that area. We sat and waited 20-30 minutes for police to come.”

A 20-30 minute police response time does not inspire confidence when there are bands of marauding carjackers active on the streets of Minneapolis. And the problem of inadequate policing is set to get much worse if radical leftists in Minneapolis get their way on a ballot question this November. 

As Townhall covered previously, Minneapolis residents will vote on a ballot question asking whether the city should amend its charter to abolish the current police department and replace it with a nebulous "'Department of Public Safety' that 'employs a comprehensive public health approach.' Scant details have so far been provided as to how a "reimagined" law enforcement agency would address rising crime, but an already gutted police department offers plenty of evidence — such as the growing number of carjackings — of what may lie ahead. 

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