Progressives Get Handed Their Heads With Minneapolis Vote on 'Defund the Police'

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Last May, the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis kickstarted riots that caused billions in damage across the country. Dozens were were killed, hundreds injured. The BLM and Democrats demanded that the police be defunded. You had Democrats like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — who pushed for defunding the Minneapolis police department — all on board with the movement.

But on Tuesday, Minneapolis — the epicenter of the riots — soundly defeated a proposal to defund the police.

From Center Square:

Question 2 asked voters if they wanted to replace the police department with a new public safety department focused on a “comprehensive public safety approach” that would include police officers “if necessary to fulfill the department’s responsibilities.” Question 2 would remove the minimum funding requirement for police (0.0017 per resident) from the Minneapolis Charter.

Two fundamental issues seemed to defeat the proposal.

First, they had no real plan as to what they wanted to replace the police department with, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who opposed the idea, explained.

“This is too critical the time to wish and hope for that help that we need so desperately right now,” Arradondo said in a press conference last week. “And again, I was not expecting some sort of robust, detailed word for word ‘plan.’ But at this point, quite frankly, I would take a drawing on a napkin.”

The second thing that defeated it handily was the huge rise in crime that afflicted the city after all the defunding talk and effort began last year.

Since 2020, violent crime has increased in Minnesota. Between Jan. 1, 2021, and Oct. 11, 2021, there have been 530 gunshot wound victims, a 137% increase from 2019’s 223 victims. The city counted 75 homicides in 2021 in that time, up 114% from 2019’s 35 homicides. Also, the 1,569 robberies counted so far in that period was a 50% increase from 2019’s 1,041.

Arradondo pointed out that 87 percent of victims of violent crime in the city are people of color. So the very people who the “Defund” movement claimed they cared about were the people being hurt most by this movement. As we previously reported, even The Washington Post observed that the defund movement was being slammed in liberal cities now.

Mayoral candidates across the country are closing out their campaigns pledging to restore law and order, a major setback for racial justice protesters who only a year ago thought they had permanently reshaped the debate on policing in American cities.

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, local elections are dominated by discussions about safety and law enforcement amid a surge in violent crime. The tone of the debate, even in many liberal urban communities, highlights how major policing reforms have stalled.

From Buffalo to Seattle, Democratic politicians who once championed significant reductions or reallocations of police department budgets are backtracking. In other cities, including Cleveland, liberal candidates are being hammered over their stances on public safety.

The vote in Minneapolis is another big defeat for BLM as well as the radical progressive Democrats in Congress like Ilhan Omar. Reality and sanity are finally starting to trump the lunacy they’ve been pushing and the American people are pushing back.