News and Commentary

Minneapolis City Councilor: ‘Conventional Wisdom’ Is Causing Current Crime Wave
People break the glass of a Nordstrom store before stealing merchandise in downtown Minneapolis, US on August 26, 2020.
Tim Evans/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Minneapolis, Minnesota, has seen a massive spike in crime since the summer riots began over alleged police brutality.

Yet City Council Member Jeremiah Ellison says the recent crime wave is the result of “conventional wisdom,” not the radical “defund the police” movement or opportunistic people creating the chaos under the guise of protest. No, Ellison wrote in a recent op-ed for the Star Tribune that “conventional wisdom” resulted in George Floyd’s death six months ago during a police-involved incident, thereby justifying the riots that led to the increase in crime in Minneapolis.

“Conventional wisdom has produced the results of this summer — from the death of Floyd to the uptick in violence. They are both the result of a century-long failure to create a public safety system that is not police-only. This conventional thinking tells us that the police will solve everything, despite having never done so. And it tells us that we can question policing, or we can have safe communities, but we can’t do, and have, both,” Ellison wrote.

The solution, Ellison claims, is in a yet unrevealed budget proposal he is authoring with three colleagues. He says this plan focuses on “[i]nvesting in citywide mental health response teams, growing our violence prevention capacity, and taking nonemergency reporting off the Minneapolis Police Department’s (MPD) plate.”

Later in the op-ed, Ellison chastises Minneapolis Mayor James Frey, Chief Medaria Arradondo, and Council Member Alondra Cano for talking about a plan without offering specifics and offering to take non-emergency, report-only calls from the MPD and to increase investments in violence prevention, which he says they now call “irresponsible and untenable.”

While offering no specifics for his own plan, Ellison chastises others for not doing so.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey criticized Ellison, first explaining that for the past two decades, Minneapolis “had been experiencing a relatively low-crime period.” The crime wave began in June when the Minneapolis city council announced it would defund the police.

“Just what should observers blame for the massive spike in violent crime — conventional wisdom or radical sloganeering?” Morrissey asked.

Morrissey then questioned how conventional wisdom “kept carjackings to a minimum” before they increased 537% in November following months of demands to abolish the police. As The Daily Wire reported, the carjackings are occurring even in broad daylight and were previously so rare they weren’t even tracked as their own separate code until September 22.

Police spokesman John Elder suggested victims simply hand over what the carjackers want.

“The numbers are staggering. It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency,” he said, before adding that “People need to know what their abilities are. A 74-year-old woman trying to duke it out with two 18-year-olds is not a great idea.”

The Star Tribune noted that the current crime wave in the city is “unprecedented,” and that shootings in particular are up since Floyd died on May 25.

“In November, the toll of people shot this year surpassed 500 in Minneapolis, the most in 15 years,” the outlet reported.

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