Minneapolis, MN – Crime has skyrocketed in the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis and police sent out an alert to residents of that area warning them not to fight back.
The Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct was the station house that was overrun by rioters and burned to the ground a few days after 46-year-old George Floyd died in the custody of the Minneapolis police on May 25.
“Attention 3rd Precinct Residents,” began the email sent on July 28, according to Alpha News. “Robberies and Carjacking’s have increased in our Precinct. Cell phones, purses, and vehicles are being targeted. Some victims have been maced, dragged, assaulted, and some threatened with a gun.”
“Most of these crimes have occurred north of 42nd St. E. 100 Robberies and 20 Carjackings have been reported to the 3rd Precinct Police in July alone. Downtown and Southwest Minneapolis have seen an increase as well. We want those who live and work here to be safe,” the email alert continued.
Then the email went on to offer a list of tips to Minneapolis residents that included “Be prepared to give up your cell phone and purse/wallet.”
The alert also told residents not to argue or fight with criminals and instead, “Do as they say.”
Recent Minneapolis crime data released by the police department showed dramatic jumps in all kinds of criminal activity across the entire city since the rioting began in late May, WCCO reported.
Thirty-nine people have been murdered in Minneapolis since the beginning of 2020, according to WCCO.
That’s an increase of 95 percent from the same time last year.
Police said there has been a 46 percent increase in car thefts in the city, with 2,170 automobiles stolen by July 26 as opposed to 1,485 in the same period in 2019.
Robberies have jumped 36 percent since last year, with 886 robberies in Minneapolis already in 2020, WCCO reported.
In the district where rioters burned down the precinct house, crime has spiked even higher.
Car thefts in the 3rd Precinct are up 67 percent, the highest in the city, WCCO reported.
Robberies in the 3rd Precinct have more than doubled compared to the same last year, with 347 robberies in that area already in 2020 compared to 163 in the same time frame in 2019.
Police said they believe some of the robberies are being committed by the same group of criminals, WCCO reported.
The increase in crime occurred as the Minneapolis City Council has continued its quest to abolish the police department and replace it with community solutions, a promise they made shortly after Floyd died.
An amendment to the city charter will appear on the November ballot that, if passed, would begin the process to give the city council the power to defund the police department and replace it with a Department of Community Service and Violence Prevention that would take a “holistic” and “public-health oriented” approach to keeping the city safe, KFGO reported.
In the meantime, the Minneapolis Police Department has suffered a serious officer shortage.
Almost 200 officers, or 20 percent of the police force, are seeking “duty disability” to leave the police department and have cited the reason as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the George Floyd riots.
Fifty of the officers who have claimed disability were present when the 3rd Precinct was overrun by rioters on May 28 and burned to the ground, according to KMSP.
Attorney Ron Meuser, who is representing the officers seeking disability, said the siege of the 3rd Precinct was the tipping point for the many of the officers.
“They did not feel they were going to come home,” Meuser told KMSP.
He said some officers texted their goodbyes to their families and others said they had planned to save a bullet for themselves that night rather than being beaten to death by the mob.
The attorney said many of the Minneapolis officers he represents feel abandoned by their local leaders as well as the communities they’ve served for years, KMSP reported.
Meuser said that most of the officers seeking disability have between 16 and 23 years on the police force.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo recently told the city council that 65 officers left the department in the first six months of 2020, far higher than the usual annual average rate of 45 departures annually, The New York Times reported.
Dozens more officers are out on leave – sick and disability – since the riots that did hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.
“It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,” Minneapolis Police Officer Rich Walker told The New York Times.