No one disputes that what happened to George Floyd wasn’t awful. There may be debate about just how bad it was, but I haven’t seen a soul actually defending what happened. I’m sure they can be found, but they’re a distinct minority.
Regardless of any of that, though, there’s been a ton of talk about defunding the police. The Minneapolis city council even voted to disband their police department.
However, a recent shooting suggests that might have been a tad premature.
Eleven people were wounded in a Saturday night shooting in Uptown that sent a large crowd of people fleeing a hail of bullets. The incident has sparked a conversation about public safety in the neighborhood and city.
The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. on June 21 at Lagoon & Hennepin. Some survivors were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center and others showed up at local hospitals in private cars. Police say none of their injuries are life-threatening.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the shooting “tragic and senseless violence.”
Arradondo said the department has seen a surge of violent crime and shootings in recent months that amounts to “a public health crisis.” More than 100 people have been shot in the city since May 26, according to the Star Tribune. Arradondo said the Minneapolis Police Department would be looking for help from the FBI and other outside law enforcement agencies. “Make no doubt, the gun violence has to stop,” he said.
Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson said deputies will provide patrol assistance in Minneapolis and investigative resources to help arrest those committing violent crimes.
“Our communities are engaged in a dangerous spate of violence, disproportionately affecting communities of color,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “It might be easier for police, in these turbulent times, to keep a low profile and fly under the radar. But it isn’t the right thing to do.”
Now, despite the votes, the Minneapolis Police Department is still on the job. However, I can’t help but wonder just how many people are taking advantage of the situation under the belief that the department won’t actually do anything to stop them.
That gets emboldened by the fact that police usually can’t stop such crimes from taking place, making things an even bigger mess.
Honestly, it sounds like now is the worst time possible to talk about defunding the police department there in Minneapolis. Reforming? Sure. I’ve said before that there are serious issues with the department. They need some definite reform. I don’t know who would dispute such a thing. At least, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t work for the Minneapolis Police Department.
That said, though, it’s clear that the need for law enforcement is as strong as ever. The last thing anyone needs is for criminals like this to feel emboldened by the belief that the police are on their way out and Minneapolis will become a free-fire zone. That way gets a lot of people hurt and killed. No one wants to see that happen.
The question is, will anyone with any authority there have the cajones to actually say as much?