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Minneapolis City Council Asks: Where Are the Police?

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Lisa Bender

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender at Powderhorn Park
Credit: Liam James Doyle, MPR News

by Brandt Williams, MPR News

The meeting was slated as a Minneapolis City Council study session on police reform.

But for much of the two-hour meeting, council members told police Chief Medaria Arradondo that their constituents are seeing and hearing street racing which sometimes results in crashes, brazen daylight carjackings, robberies, assaults and shootings. And they asked Arradondo what the department is doing about it.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police’?” said Jamal Osman, newly elected council member of Ward 6.  He said he’s already been inundated with complaints from residents that calls for police aren’t being answered.

“That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen,” Osman said.

Just months after leading an effort that would have defunded the police department, City Council members at Tuesday’s work session pushed chief Medaria Arradondo to tell them how the department is responding to the violence.

The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain in all of last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.

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© 2020 Minnesota Public Radio News

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