Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News
During a Saturday town hall meeting, Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar placed the blame for the increased violent crime rate in Minneapolis on the local police department.
Video shows Omar saying that the police have “chosen to not fulfill their oath of office and provide the public safety they owe to the citizens,” pointing to officers as the cause of the crime spike, conveniently omitting the fact that their budget had been slashed.
“The Minneapolis Police Department is the most dysfunctional police department in our state and probably in the country,” she added, then continuing to promote the idea that “accountability” is one of the key issues she wants to see addressed by police.
Ilhan Omar accuses police of not fulfilling their oath of office and blames them for the rise in violent crime in Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/3LhuOuXEff
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) October 25, 2021
According to a report in The Washington Times, local police suffered a budget cut of about $8 million in direct funding in response to the “defund the police” movement that swept the nation. KPVI Minneapolis reported that the MPD is looking to obtain around $27 million to get themselves back into fighting shape after they lost almost 300 police officers in 2020, following the death of George Floyd.
A video of her comments comes in tandem with Omar promoting even more controversial police reform policies. She has thrown her support behind a Nov. 2 ballot question that, if passed, would replace the police department with with a new, “public safety department.” The plan to replace the police is focused on creating a law enforcement force that has a “comprehensive public safety approach” that would include police officers “if necessary to fulfill the department’s responsibilities.”
“When you have a system that refuses to work for the people it’s supposed to serve, you have to go back to the drawing board,” The Star Tribune reported Omar as saying. “At some point, you’ve got to walk away.”
This proposed change fuels concerns from conservatives that the move to defund the police was in part a ploy to create a vacuum that would need to be filled with an agency that has a liberal-infused job description and a wider breadth of powers.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, however, believes that the increase in violent crime is a direct response to the decrease in police funding and a reason to increase the MPD funding, indicating that he believes they can fix the problem with the current police structure.
“From a public safety standpoint and certainly as chief, I will tell you what is not acceptable is to have any more reductions right now in our sworn capacity to be responding to the incidents of gun violence, the incidence of carjackings and homicides that have occurred in our city,” Arradondo said.
According to Fox News, the violent crime in the state of Minnesota rose 17 percent overall, and set new records for murders.
Other cities across the nation have experienced similar reactions to reduction in police force. The Democratic-controlled Austin City Council voted in August of 2020 to drastically reduce police department funding by $150 million. This change resulted in the local PD doing away with massive amounts of police services, including a recent announcement that the police would no longer respond to any emergency that is non-life-threatening.
Austin city residents launched a petition to add a ballot measure that would restore police funding after an overwhelming negative response to the changes. The Texas state legislature has also moved to impose penalties on local governments who legislate a defunding of the police.