News and Commentary

Minneapolis Police Warn Business Owners ‘Reinforcements’ To Help Handle Violence ‘Aren’t Coming Any Time Soon’
A view of a destroyed Wendy's restaurant near the Third Police Precinct Station on June 21, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

One Minneapolis police inspector is warning residents of a district, hit hard by a city-wide spike in violence, that police reinforcements aren’t available to help handle increasing crime and they “aren’t coming any time soon.”

CBS Minneapolis reports that the head of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct, Inspector Sean McGinty, warned business owners in a note that he simply can’t help them address or repel break-ins, burglaries, and other incidents that have plagued the neighborhood all summer. Minneapolis’s 3rd Precinct is where rioters “occupied” and then burned the local precinct building in protest over the death of George Floyd.

The business owners complained to McGinty that they were scared to go to work and can’t find employees brave enough to fill vacant positions. They demanded McGinty give them a “long-term plan” to address the problem.

In response, McGinty admitted that there is no “long-term plan.”

“As far as a long-term plan I don’t have one. I have lost 30% of my street officers since the end of May. Budget cuts from COVID-19 and an additional 1.5 million from the council in August we have let go 17 CSO’s and cancelled a recruit class of 29,” he wrote.

“A potential Cadet class slated for January of 2021 was also eliminated. It takes about a year to get a police Officer onto the streets with hiring, backgrounds and field training so reinforcements aren’t coming anytime soon,” McGinty continued. “We are doing everything we can with what we have. I hate to see great businesses like yours and the rest of your corridor being victimized and feeling unsafe. Please let me know if you have any more questions.”

The Minneapolis Police Department’s union president confirmed the situation to CBS, pinning the blame for poor officer retention, recruitment, and morale on Minneapolis City Council efforts aimed at defunding and disbanding the MPD.

“The Inspector gave an excellent summary. I think the only plan city leadership has is to further decimate its police department. Businesses and people will continue to flee the city. And rightfully so,” he said.

Minneapolis Police, though, say they have enough patrol officers to handle the situation.

“In these very challenging times of COVID, budget cuts and retirements, the MPD continues to evaluate and reallocate the resources that we currently have to best serve the City of Minneapolis, focusing on the core responsibilities of a police department; responding to 911 calls and investigations,” they told CBS.

McGinty’s admission comes just days after the city council, which has been pressing to “defund the police” since late May, confronted the city’s police chief and demanded to know why crime is on the upswing in Minneapolis. It also comes just days after a plan to reopen a police office in the affected 3rd Precinct failed — a development anti-police activists hailed as a “victory” in the fight to “abolish” law enforcement, per CBS Minneapolis.

“I think we’re celebrating this as a victory, and making it very clear to our elected leaders that you need to move forward with the process that you promised in June,”  the chair of the Seward Abolish Police Group told the network following the decision. “We do not want to see any movement on re-opening this precinct.”

“Why go with MPD as it is without any reconciliation or restorative process? Let’s move away from that and use this as an opportunity to build that new model public and community safety,” she added.

Related: Minneapolis Residents Say They’re Living ‘In A War Zone’ Plead With City Council To Address Them Personally