“We have never seen anything like this.”
“I’m scared to even drive after dark.”
“I don’t feel safe walking around my neighborhood.”
“Everybody feels the same way. We all want to move.”
That’s just some of the feedback the Minneapolis City Council received during an Oct. 8 meeting of the Public Health and Safety Committee.
More than 60 residents signed up to speak their minds at the two-hour virtual meeting, grilling council members on their “irresponsible rhetoric” and failure to adequately staff the Minneapolis Police Department.
“We should all know as adults that words such as ‘defund,’ ‘dismantle,’ and ‘abolish’ have severe consequences. We are a city in crisis and need action now,” said one resident who lives in the Loring Park neighborhood.
“We are putting citizens and officers at risk working with a demoralized and burned out patrol staff that is down to 450 for a city of 437,000,” she added.
Another resident wondered if council members were still receiving private security while “the constituency are generally afraid.”
A doorbell camera captured five males beating and robbing a man in Minneapolis in late August.
“I will just say due to the nature of public hearings and public comment periods like this that we as a council, we’re receiving the comments so it’s not necessarily a back-and-forth but I do recommend you contact your council member to be able to engage more thoroughly in that dialogue,” replied Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, chair of the committee.
Several speakers wanted answers on whether or not the Minneapolis Police Department is currently staffed in accordance with the City Charter, which requires roughly three officers per every 5,000 residents.
A lawsuit filed in August claimed that at least 80 officers had retired or quit while another 111 were on some type of medical leave
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