Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) told a Minneapolis town hall meeting on Saturday night that the skyrocketing violent crime in the city should be blamed on the Minneapolis police.
The meeting was held on Oct. 23 at Omar’s alma mater, Edison High School, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
She reiterated her support for a Minneapolis City Charter amendment that advocates of abolishing the Minneapolis police want to see put on the November ballot.
The proposed wording of the language to be put on the ballot is currently under review by the Minnesota Supreme Court after a lower-court ruled it wasn’t clear enough.
“When you have a system that refuses to work for the people it’s supposed to serve, you have to go back to the drawing board,” Omar told the town hall participants. “At some point, you’ve got to walk away.”
Then she placed the blame for the continued surge in violent crime in the city squarely on the police.
“What we must also recognize is that the reduction in policing currently in our city, and the lawlessness that is happening is due to two things,” Omar told the audience.
“One, the police have chosen to not fulfill their oath of office and to provide the public safety they are owed to the citizens they serve, right? It’s documented,” she said. “But even before that, it was documented. The Minneapolis Police Department is the most dysfunctional police department, in our state and probably in the country.”
“The second part is that there has to be accountability,” Omar continued. “And someone that is actually taking responsibility for what the police does and doesn’t do. And that doesn’t exist in this moment.”
“And I do believe that the current charter that we have, that’s tied the hands of those who want to have that accountability, because we are mandated to have a specific amount of policing, we are mandated to, you know, have the kind of these union contracts that we have right now. I don’t know any other big city in the state of Minnesota that has the charter that we have, it just doesn’t exist,” she claimed.
Ilhan Omar accuses police of not fulfilling their oath of office and blames them for the rise in violent crime in Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/3LhuOuXEff
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) October 25, 2021
Minneapolis has been plagued by skyrocketing violent crime since before George Floyd died in the custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020.
The understaffing issues became dramatically worse after 20 percent of the department took leave in the wake of the riots following Floyd’s death.
Record numbers of officers have retired, taken medical leave, or just quit since the city council turned its back on them and voted to abolish the police department in June of 2020.
The lack of police patrolling the streets became so problematic that the city had to hire officers from other jurisdictions to help, but at the same time, advocates of defunding the police continued to move ahead with the amendment to the city charter that would allow the city council to do away with the Minneapolis Police Department.
On Oct. 22, Minneapolis police issued a crime alert to residents of the city warning that multiple rideshare drivers had been assaulted and robbed at gunpoint, WCCO reported.
In several of the incidents, Uber or Lyft drivers were asked to wait a few minutes for their passengers.
While they were waiting, a group of armed people surrounded or blocked the driver’s vehicle and then robbed them at gunpoint, WCCO reported.
Some of the drivers were assaulted and pistol-whipped, according to police.
The warning was sent out to rideshare drivers and the general public, WCCO reported.