While Minneapolis City Council members are still determined to abolish the city’s police force, residents may be having some second thoughts after a huge spike in the number of shootings in the city. On Saturday evening, twelve people were shot, one fatally, in an exchange of gunfire between multiple individuals in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.
The violence began about 12:37 a.m. Sunday, when police responded to reports of gunfire during a large gathering of people in the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue, according to police spokesman John Elder. He said officers arrived to find multiple victims and learned that others had left the scene in “private vehicles.”
Several ambulances were summoned to the scene to care for the wounded. He said that detectives had been assigned to investigate the case, but no arrests had been made as of Sunday morning.
A Facebook Live video posted by K.G. Wilson, a longtime peace activist, showed the shooting’s chaotic aftermath, with bystanders tending to several victims sitting on a curb in the popular entertainment district on the city’s South Side. The scene was awash in flashing blue and red lights. At one point in the footage, a police officer and a bystander are seen carrying an injured person to a waiting ambulance.
According to the Star-Tribune newspaper, 19 people have been injured or killed in shootings in the city since Saturday afternoon, and more than 90 people have been shot in Minneapolis since May 26th. Earlier this month, seven people were shot during a fight that started in a north Minneapolis bar before the crowd took to the street outside.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder has dismissed allegations that the police force isn’t acting as proactively as it has in the past, telling reporters earlier this week that “anybody would think that there is a stand-down order or some sort of work stoppage, that is patently false.”
It may be false, but isn’t that what the City Council is asking for? Politicians in the city have been proclaiming that that the cure of law enforcement is worse than the disease of violent crime, and have promised that as policing disappears, peace will be restored to the city’s streets.
Instead, what we’re witnessing in Minneapolis and other deep-blue Democrat-controlled cities around the country is that criminals feel emboldened now that politicians have declared police officers to be the biggest threat to law-and-order. I’ve written in the past that I’m in favor of certain policing reforms like ending “no-knock” raids and requiring body-worn cameras, but there’s a big difference between undertaking reforms and gutting departments or “re-imagining policing.” As long as cops, not violent criminals, are seeing by politicians to be the biggest threat to public safety, expect the chaos on the streets of these cities to continue to ramp up through the long, hot summer months ahead of us.