News & Politics

Second Thoughts: Minneapolis City Council Votes to Increase Police Budget

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Minneapolis City Council, which led the nationwide “defund police” movement in cutting funding for cops, voted to increase the police budget by $6.4 million after the department suffered an extraordinary loss in personnel.

The Minneapolis Police Department began 2020 with 817 officers but ended the year with 638 officers available to work. Fully 155 officers are on extended leave complaining of PTSD. The city council added $6.4 million to hire more officers after residents complained of slow response times by officers.

According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, violent crime increased 21 percent in 2020.

NRO:

Even so, three council members have written a proposal to replace the police with a new public safety department that would reduce the mayor’s authority over the police. A local political group called Yes 4 Minneapolis is also collecting signatures for a petition to replace the police with a new agency that would take a “comprehensive public health approach to safety.” The group was funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the Open Society Policy Center, the lobbying arm of philanthropist George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Star Tribunereported.

Some residents are blaming the city council’s original cutting of the police budget for the spike in murders and other violent crimes. One business owner was bitter about using the city as a social-science lab.

Fox News:

“They saw a whole different kind of opportunity,” Jay Ettinger said of council members who called for the defunding of police following the George Floyd protests. “They saw an opportunity to take down a system and they’ve got a lot of blood on their hands right now because of it.”

Ettinger’s comments came after the city’s council voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional funding for the police department. The city backtracked on its original push to defund the city’s police department after residents begged the city to hire more officers, citing longer response times and increased violent crime.

Ettinger says the difference between the city the way it is now and the way it was three years ago is “startling.”

“This is the most important election in this city’s history,” Ettinger told Steve Doocy. “I mean, if we get it right, we can turn this around really quickly.”

“What this city looks like today compared to two and three years ago is startling,” he added. “And so this election, we got to get it right, and we have to vote for the greater good. We have to vote for what’s best for everybody in our community.”

Radicals believed that since Minneapolis is a good little liberal city, they could capitalize on the outrage over the murder of George Floyd to impose their Utopian vision on everyone. A city without police—a city where police wouldn’t be necessary. They believed that if you treated criminals and suspects with respect and dignity, they wouldn’t fight back or try to kill officers arresting them.

Just peace, harmony, and happiness in a Nirvana created by the radicals.

I don’t know if an election defeat will change these people. They will try again — probably the next time some poor black man dies at the hands of police. Eventually, they will get their city-wide social experiment in non-policing.

I’ll feel sorry for the residents of Minneapolis when that happens.