Minneapolis business owner says city leaders have ‘blood on their hands’

The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to spend $6.4 million to hire additional officers after cutting the Minneapolis Police Department's budget in December. 

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A Minneapolis resident and business owner said city leaders have “blood on their hands” in an interview Tuesday morning.

“If you gave this script to a Hollywood director, what’s happened to our city the last nine months — to be frank, the last three years — they would laugh at the premise it’s so absurd,” Jay Ettinger told “Fox & Friends.”

Ettinger said he was “disgusted” and “heartbroken” after the death of George Floyd, but saw it as “an opportunity for us all to come together.”

“I can’t tell you what’s in our city council’s hearts, it wouldn’t be fair of me to say that, but what I can tell you is they saw a whole different kind of opportunity,” he said. “They saw an opportunity to take down a system and they’ve got a lot of blood on their hands right now because of it.”

The Minneapolis City Council voted Friday to spend $6.4 million to hire additional officers after cutting the Minneapolis Police Department’s budget in December. Chief Medaria Arradondo recently revealed that the department is down about 200 officers.

“We had nine City Council members stand on a stage with big letters in front of the stage calling to defund the police. If you were to interview those council members — there were nine of the 13 who stood up there —  you’d probably get five or six different answers from them [about] what that actually means. So there’s no consistency, there’s no cohesiveness in their group,” said Ettinger.

Minneapolis experienced a 105% increase in shootings between 2019 and 2020, according to an end-of-year report presented to the council.

The city recorded 82 homicides in 2020, a 70% increase over 2019’s 48 homicides. Between 2016 and 2019, Minneapolis had an average homicide rate of 41, the report from the Minneapolis Police Department said.

The number of gunshot wound victims jumped from 269 in 2019 to 551 in 2020. Ettinger said the “majority of those victims were people of color.”

“I don’t know exactly who they think they’re helping because this defund the police movement has hurt the Black community in our city more than any other. The Black leadership in our city is not being heard. Our faith leaders, our educators, our coaches, they’re just not being heard by the City Council,” said Ettinger, who called this year’s municipal election the “most important election in this city’s history.”

“What this city looks like today compared to two and three years ago is startling,” he added. “And so this election, we got to get it right, and we have to vote for the greater good. We have to vote for what’s best for everybody in our community.”