Minneapolis, MN – Carjackings in Minneapolis are up 537 percent when compared with November of 2019 and residents are fighting a proposal to cut the police department’s budget even more.
More than 200 Minneapolis residents have signed up to speak at a city council meeting on Wednesday night where a discussion of the latest proposal to defund the Minneapolis Police Department is the headliner, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Residents are outraged that the recommended changes to the 2021 budget proposal include another $7.9 million cut for the already beleaguered police force.
The plan would cut $5 million in police overtime and reduce the size of the already barebones police department from 888 officers to 750, KARE reported.
The new proposal budget cuts came as Minneapolis police logged more than 125 carjackings in the city in October and November, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Police reports showed that three carjackings occurred within a one-hour timeframe on the morning of Nov. 28.
One of the victims was an elderly woman who was struck on the head by her attackers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“The numbers are staggering,” Minneapolis Police Department Spokesman John Elder said. “It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency.”
Police warned that victims get approached on the street, sidewalk, or in parking lots while they’re distracted with routine tasks, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Records showed a significant number of the armed carjackings targeted senior citizens and unaccompanied women on Minneapolis’ South Side when the victims were at their vehicles.
Minneapolis police didn’t separately track carjackings until this September because they were historically so infrequent in the city, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
In the past, police said the carjacking cases were just counted with all the other car thefts and robberies.
But after a spike in carjackings over the summer, analysts initiated a retroactive count and determined that there have been 375 carjackings in the city so far this year, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Seventeen of the carjackings took place during Thanksgiving week.
Analysis of the data showed that there have been more than three times as many carjackings in Minneapolis in 2020 than there were in 2019, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“These suspects have been known to ask for directions, then rob the victim of a purse, phone or car,” a Minneapolis police crime alert distributed in the Third Precinct in November read.
The alert warned residents to only carry essential items with them and said that if they were robbed, they should just turn over what the criminals were asking for rather than risking their safety, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
It was the second such alert sent out to residents of the area where rioters burned the police precinct to the ground during the George Floyd riots.
“People need to know what their abilities are,” Elder said. “A 74-year-old woman trying to duke it out with two 18-year-olds is not a great idea.”
More than 500 people have been shot and 79 have been murdered by gunfire in the city so far this year, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
That’s the highest body count since the 1990s when the city was known as “Murderapolis.”
Which is why hundreds of Minneapolis residents are lined up to weigh in on the proposal to drop almost $9 million more from the police department’s budget, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender and Councilmembers Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham on Nov. 27 announced a proposed amendment to the 2021 budget called the “Safety for All” plan.
The proposed amendment would take $7.9 out of the police budget to establish a new 911 Mental Health Crisis Response for non-threatening calls, increase the city’s non-emergency “311” capacity for theft and property damage crimes, transfer Minneapolis police employees to the Office of Violence Prevention or Neighborhood and Community Relations, and pad the budget of the Office of Police Conduct Review, KARE reported.
But that proposal makes no sense given that the city council and the mayor just approved a proposal to take $497,000 from the city’s contingency fund and use it to pay for additional police coverage for the remainder of the fiscal year.