On Friday of last week, the Minneapolis city council voted to approve an additional $6.4 million in funding for the Minneapolis Police Department. Per foxnews.com, reports of increased violent crime in conjunction with slower response times by the police. What’s ironic about this situation is just last year this same group of city council members voted to completely abolish the police department in a June proposal that was rejected by Minneapolis Mayor.
The death of George Floyd during his encounter with Minneapolis police officers on May 25th, 2020 provoked massive protests in a dozen of cities across the nation, despite being in the midst of a global pandemic. After the killing of Mr. Floyd, there was a lot of discussion about defunding or abolishing law-enforcement all together, with #DefundPolice becoming a popular hashtag on social media. Those calls for defunding the police came into reality in December of 2020 when the Minneapolis City Council members voted to “reallocate” millions of police funding to other municipal services. The December vote is a compromise from the proposal made in June of 2020, when the department would have been totally eliminated if signed into law.
One of the unintended consequences of the Minneapolis city government taking the position of defunding the police was the response from officers that were already on the force. Multiple Minneapolis police officers resigned following the riots that resulted in multiple business being destroyed, including a police precinct station that was burned down. Officers were not getting support from neither the city council or the cities Mayor when there was so much public pressure to not only condemn the officers involved in George Floyd’s death, but to condemn police altogether. This makes it much more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs which in the case of Minneapolis, led to a steady increase in crime throughout the community.
It’s amazing how elected representatives of government can make rapid decisions on complex problems, and those decisions end up creating more problems than it started with. How should the people of Minneapolis view their policies now that the city was forced to reverse course? What benefit is defunding (or abolishing) the police if one of the consequences of such an action leads to an increase in crime? These are the hard questions that government leadership will have to try and solve not just in Minneapolis, but in cities & states all across America.