Minneapolis Police riot

A check-cashing business burns during protests in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

After George Floyd was killed and large sections of Minneapolis burned, the City of Lakes led the way in defunding its police department. But the prospect of less law enforcement seemed scary to some. When a CNN talking head asked City Council President Lisa Bender what residents should do if someone breaks into their home in the middle of the night, Bender responded that expecting police to help in a situation like that “comes from a place of privilege.”

The very idea of enforcing laws and arresting criminals for, well, committing crimes had suddenly become “problematic.” The answer, of course, was fewer cops and less law enforcement.

Now that the city’s police have been thoroughly denigrated, demonized, demoralized and defunded, the city’s crime rate has soared. This is what “reimagining law enforcement” looks like. Fewer cops, longer response times (if they show up at all), and more violent crime. Who could have possibly seen that coming?

Minneapolis city council

The problem has now gotten bad enough that the same City Council that did its level best to reduce the size and effectiveness of its law enforcement operation is wondering — out loud — where the hell all the cops have gone.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” said [Minneapolis] Council Member Jamal Osman, noting that constituents’ calls to the Minneapolis Police Department have gone unanswered. “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.

Council President Lisa Bender accused police of intentionally not enforcing laws or making arrests.

“This is not new,” [Council President Lisa] Bender said. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”

– Megan Henney in Minneapolis City Council alarmed by crime surge after defunding police

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