Multiple people shot, one killed, in Minneapolis as part of long-running crime wave

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Several people were shot on Saturday in Minneapolis leading to at least one death as the trend of criminality that began long before the death of George Floyd seems likely to increase even more now that the city council has chosen to disband the police force.

According to reports, at least 11 people were struck by bullets around 12:37 a.m. Sunday morning, as scores of residents phoned emergency services after hearing gunshots in the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue South.

Minneapolis police said that more than one person was involved in the shooting and that the assailants approached the area on foot before opening fire.

“Police arrived and located several people suffering from gunshot wounds,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in a press release. “Multiple ambulances responded and transported victims to Hennepin County Medical Center. Others were transported to area hospitals in private vehicles.”

Good Morning America correspondent Jon Haworth said that 12 people were struck, and one adult male died at the hospital. The remaining victims were also adults.

Police said that an investigation is ongoing and they expect to release the name of the victim in the coming days.

The incident comes amid a rising tide of violence and lawlessness in a city that, prior to the death of Floyd last month — an incident that sparked rioting and protesting around the country, as well as renewed racial tensions — had been experiencing a shortage of police officers and a rising tide of crime.

In September 2016, CBS affiliate WCCO reported that Minneapolis had become one of the country’s most dangerous cities, coming in at 25th. The report noted that robberies were one of the most common crimes in the city, but violent crime had jumped 4 percent over 2015.

Interestingly, the affiliate reported that the Democrat-run city “has struggled with stark racial disparities, with people of color, particularly blacks, making less money, having lower homeownership rates and higher unemployment rates.”

Regardless, the city’s violence has not abated since.

In September, Fox News reported that videos of mob beatings in Minneapolis of one or two victims were going viral on social media. The following month, StreetsMN reported that violent crime was up a staggering 69 percent in Downtown West over the span of 11 years.

Over the same period three-year period (2017-2020), Minneapolis also experienced a dramatic, worsening shortage of police officers, which some analysts directly linked to the huge spikes in crime.

The New York Daily News reported in September:

Gunmen, robbers and sexual deviants are running amok in Minneapolis — and there aren’t enough cops to stop them.

Amid a severe personnel crunch, the Minnesota metropolis is desperately trying to keep pace with criminals.

A staggering total of more than 6,000 emergency calls involving robberies, shootings and sexual assaults were made in the yearlong period for which police were unable to immediately respond, claimed Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder.

The reporting was corroborated by CNN.

“Those calls did not get immediately dispatch police resources because we did not have staff available to respond,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said in an email to the network.

Fox News adds that Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo last year requested 400 new officers over the next few years to make up for chronic shortages that have left residents of the city in danger of being victimized thanks to prolonged response times due to a lack of personnel.

Like Minneapolis, other metropolitan departments are suffering critical shortages of police officers. But that is likely due to a high number of complaints, as well as political factors.

In 2018, for instance, a report noted that a record number of complaints had been filed against Minneapolis police — amid ongoing officer shortages and a spiking crime rate.

In February, the New York Post reported that smaller towns and larger cities alike are suffering recruitment problems.

“Going back to 2010, we had about 4,700 online applications. That dropped down to about 1,900 last year,” said Steve Anderson, chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, in a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report last year.

The Post noted that the Seattle Police Department has seen applications tank 40 to 50 percent, while in Jefferson County, Colo., applications tanked 70 percent.

In all, some 86 percent of police chiefs reported a shortage of applications, of officers, or both.

And now, given the anti-police mood engulfing the country, it’s very likely that recruiting for officers will become even more difficult.

In Minneapolis, the city council has called for the complete disbanding of the police department, which has led to another drop in morale among current officers, as well a rash of retirements and resignations.

What will happen to Minneapolis if, at a minimum, the police department isn’t fully disbanded but dramatically reduced in size?

“Substantial empirical evidence indicates that more cops on the beat means less crime on the street,” the NY Post notes, suggesting that fewer cops are going to lead to spikes in criminal behavior and violence.

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Jon Dougherty

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