Minneapolis is facing a surge in violence, including homicides, as the city marks the one-year-anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.
There have been double the amount of slayings this year than there were through the same period in 2010 — and at least 100 homicides overall since Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported.
At least one person was shot Tuesday on the anniversary of Floyd’s murder in a square named for Floyd, reports said.
“I am absolutely beyond frustrated and angry quite frankly at how it feels like citywide leadership has shrugged their shoulders at what we’re dealing with here because they don’t have to live in the middle of it every day,” City Councilman Phillippe Cunningham recently said in a letter to Mayor Jacob Frey calling to address the surge.
Cities across the country are dealing with massive increases in crime that many blame on pandemic woes, but the scrutiny on Minneapolis is intense because of Floyd, whose death sparked protests and calls for police reform across the country.
“What is being done to stop this violence?” said Cunningham, who represents a ward in North Minneapolis recently hit hard by gun crime. “I want to know. My constituents want to know. We deserve better than this.”
Frey recently told local TV station KARE11 that he was not in favor of City Council-backed police reforms to create a new model of public safety.
“Yes, we need that necessary accountability and culture shift and you need law enforcement,” Frey said.
“So, I haven’t subscribed to this whole get rid of police officers, defund, abolish the police,” Frey told the station. “As it’s played out, no, I don’t think that makes sense.”
And some residents say many of the killings haven’t gotten widespread attention or sparked calls for action because they haven’t involved cops, WSJ said.
“Why ain’t nobody mad about a 10-year-old, my grandson, fighting for his life?” Sharrie Jennings, whose grandson Ladavionne Garret Jr. was shot in April, reportedly said. “Because a cop didn’t shoot him, is that why?”
Ladavionne was one of three children shot in the city in recent weeks, along with 9-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith and 6-year-old Aniya Allen. Jennings and Ottoson-Smith remain hospitalized, according to The Washington Post. Allen was killed in a shooting Monday as the city held a vigil for the other children, the Post reported.
There have been 31 homicides this year compared to 15 last year at the same time and the city’s homicide rate last year was the highest for Minneapolis since the 1990s, according to the Post.
Nearly 200 people have been shot this year — double over last year and the most in a decade, the paper said.