Minneapolis City Council now wants more police after it spent months trying to abolish them

City council members described how their constituents are "terrorized" by crime and asked the MPD chief what the department plans to do to remedy a virtual lack of police presence in the city.

Image credit: Twitter via @BlackVisionsMN

The Minneapolis City Council, which spent months trying to disband the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), is now concerned about an apparent lack of cops in the city.

Minneapolis has experienced an unprecedented rise in crime amid a wave of riots and civil unrest following George Floyd’s death. In response to increasingly unsafe conditions, the City Council recently held a “study session” during which members expressed their concerns to Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and asked what the police plan to do to squelch crime.

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police?’” said Councilman Jamal Osman during the meeting. Citizens of Minneapolis “rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen,” he continued.

This comes not long after Osman was elected to the council. Throughout his campaign, he was clear that he “fully supports” an effort to get rid of and replace the MPD.

Osman was not alone in his concern. Councilman Steve Fletcher also noted that residents of his ward are worried because they were told by police that there is no plan to stop robberies in their neighborhood.

“A couple of my constituents called me yesterday and told me that they had been told by rank and file officers that there was no plan, and that we are not doing anything to prevent robberies in Marcy Holmes,” Fletcher said.

“I’d love to know a little more about what the robbery suppression work is and what are we doing to prevent what’s been sort of a pattern in Marcy over the last six weeks,” he added, asking for the police chief’s input.

This comes just months after he wrote an op-ed for Time titled, in part, “We Must Disband the Police.”

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Council President Lisa Bender also bemoaned how citizens are saying that the police “are not enforcing crime.” She went on to characterize the apparent lack of police presence in Minneapolis as “very concerning.”

During a CNN interview in June, she criticized people who call the police, saying the decision to do so “comes from a place of privilege.”

Bender has also expressed her unwavering support for disbanding the police on multiple occasions. She even led the council as it attempted to amend the city charter to give itself the power to employ fewer police officers than is legally required.

Councilman Andrew Johnson asked Chief Arradondo what the cops plan to do about increased rates of car theft.

“I would appreciate some more information on how we’re addressing the carjackings. There have been a number of them in the community, and they’ve really terrorized residents,” Johnson said. “How do we stop it?”

Council member Phillipe Cunningham said he is “sort of flabbergasted” by the fact that his “colleagues who a very short time ago were calling for abolition are now suggesting that we should be putting more funding and resources into MPD.”

Cunningham was one of the three council members who racked up a $152,000 taxpayer-funded private security bill. Cunningham and two other council members each employed $4,500 worth of private security per day back in June, at the height of their efforts to abolish the MPD.

Meanwhile, the City Council’s apparent about-face on its opinion of police has drawn criticism from Republican congressional candidate Lacy Johnson, who is campaigning against Minnesota’s own progressive U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“The hypocrisy and failure that we’re seeing from this City Council is astounding and deeply troubling,” he said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning.