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New look at police stats shows the spread of violent crime across Minneapolis this summer


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Star Tribune

Violent crime has surged to record highs across Minneapolis this year, rising in more prosperous neighborhoods that typically experience few such incidents while continuing to exact the heaviest toll in the city’s poor, ethnically diverse areas.

Through last week, the city had logged 3,674 violent crimes — defined as homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults — up 17% from the previous five-year average for this period, according to a Star Tribune analysis of police statistics.

City Council members, who have gained national attention for their calls to defund the Minneapolis Police Department, last week shifted focus and pressed Chief Medaria Arradondo to address crime in their wards. He assured them that his department was up to the task of dealing with soaring gun violence, as well as a series of brazen daylight carjackings and robberies in parts of the city.

The police department has experienced a wave of officer departures since George Floyd’s killing. Insiders say that department morale has sunk, and that some officers have become more wary of conducting proactive police work out of fear they’ll be fired or prosecuted for actions taken on the job. And in an e-mail obtained by WCCO-TV news last week, Third Precinct Inspector Sean McGinty expressed doubts about the existence of a long-term plan to address the area’s crime problems:snip:

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Judge rules Minneapolis must answer for lack of police

"We look forward to testifying in court about the city’s failure to protect us."

Anthony Gockowski

November 23, 2020

A district court judge rejected Minneapolis’ request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by eight residents who believe the city has failed to adequately staff its police department.

In a Friday ruling, Hennepin County District Court Judge Jamie Anderson said the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey “have no authority to divert funds from the Minneapolis Police Department if they have not met their public duty to fund a police force of at least 0.0017 employees per resident,” as mandated by the City Charter.

“Misallocation of money that properly should fund a police force is an unlawful  disbursement of funds. Petitioners claim Respondents allegedly diverted $1.1 million from  the Minneapolis Police Department in 2020, even as there was a purported shortage in  peace officers. Thus, as Minneapolis taxpayers, Petitioners have a beneficial interest in the  petition both to enforce a public duty and to remedy any alleged misallocation of funds,” Anderson said in her ruling.

The initial lawsuit was filed in August against Mayor Frey and the City Council by eight Minneapolis residents, who are represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center.

(Snip)

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