Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP, Pool File)

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This is not a manufactured crisis, nor one of sensationalized stories. The statistics are staggering. According to a May 20 meeting with local leaders, year-to-date homicides in 2021 have more than doubled compared to 2020. The police department has seized 100 fewer guns this year — approximately 300 total — compared to last year.

Gun thefts from vehicles are up more than 100 percent. The atrophied police department simply lacks the resources to chase them down. As a result, street criminals use these weapons to take aim at each other, with horrific consequences.

The Minneapolis Police Dashboard reveals that violent crimes have increased from 1,696 during the first five months of last year to 1,940 through the same period this year. Homicides have increased from 18 to a stunning 35, putting the city on a trajectory that could well surpass the record-setting number of 97 in 1995, when national media regularly referred to the city as “Murderapolis.”

By contrast, the city experienced just 11 homicides during this same period in 2019. The 35 homicides through May 31 represent a 94 percent increase from 2020, and a two-year increase of 218 percent from 2019’s total of 11 homicides. Robberies in the city are up 31.4 percent over last year, and 82.2 percent over 2019. Aggravated assaults number 1,034 so far this year, an 8.5 percent increase over 2020 and an 18.7 percent increase over 2019.

— Jenna Stocker in Freefall

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