The “defund the police” initiative doesn’t seem to be working out for the residents of Minneapolis, MN. Despite the hard left’s insistence that having fewer officers on the streets will somehow protect black lives and make for safer communities, people are pushing back, and it appears they have won a significant victory. After a group of residents sued the city, a judge made a favorable ruling for those affected by rising crime rates.
Defund the Police Loses Crucial Battle
In August of last year, a group of residents filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis over skyrocketing crime rates after the murder of George Floyd. Shortly after the story gained national attention, Democrats and leftist activists began their “defund the police” initiative in cities across the country.
In Minneapolis, the city council voted in favor of scaling back its police department, with some members even calling for the abolition of the entire law enforcement agency. This move led to a decrease in police officers as many resigned or took medical leave. Many in the community believe this decision is one of the primary contributors to the disturbing rise in violent criminal activity.
The judge ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, admonishing the city and ordering it to restaff its police department. The Washington Examiner reported:
“Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson mandated local leaders employ 730 sworn officers by June 30, 2022, after it was found that the projected number of police officers for June 1, 2022, 669, was in violation of the city’s charter, which stipulates the area must have 0.0017 licensed peace officers per resident.”
Judge Anderson on Thursday ordered Mayor Jacob Frey and the city council to “take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force.” In his decision, Anderson wrote:
“It is undisputed that: the crime rate in Minneapolis has increased since the killing of Floyd, one or more Petitioners have suffered injuries from that increase in crime, Ms. Lundberg has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the Court previously found that that the Petitioners have the standing to bring this mandamus action.”
In the summer of 2020, the Minneapolis Police Department had about 740 officers on staff, with 66 on leave. The residents who filed the lawsuit blamed the increase in crime on a mass “exodus” of police officers in the area.
During the announcement of the lawsuit last year, one of the residents explained how the heightened criminal activity is affecting the community. “Every night in the Jordan neighborhood, on any given block from Emerson to Lowry, you hear gunshots every night,” she said.
“What do we do? Who do we call if the city council says we’re going to dismantle and defund your police department?” she added.
In January 2021, the city council made a second attempt to abolish the police department. Three members of the city’s legislature called for the creation of a “Department of Public Safety,” which would be an endeavor that is “beyond law enforcement.”
Will Other Cities Follow Suit?
Minneapolis is not the only city to have embraced the defund the police initiative. New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, and several others have slashed law enforcement spending. Unfortunately, these cities have also seen a drastic rise in homicides and other violent crimes.
Is it possible that the nation might see a trend of residents banding together to use the legal system to compel their local governments to do their jobs? As more and more people lose their lives due in part to the decrease in police activity, it is not out of the realm of possibility. Indeed, it seems likely that the citizenry would become fed up with the destructive inaction of their leaders and seek out ways to compel them to fulfill the duties for which they were elected. The question is: How long will it take for this to happen?
Read more from Jeff Charles.