(The Center Square) – Twenty-six North Minneapolis residents are asking Gov. Tim Walz to deploy State Patrol or the National Guard, calling their district a “war zone.”
CBS first reported the letter.
The letter cited a child murdered, a man killed in a barbershop, a bus targeted for a shooting, a school teacher shot and killed, and a drive-by shooting near elementary kids playing at recess – all within one week as reasons to send help.
“For over a year now we have been left to twist in the winds of violence, with constant shots heard, constant carjackings, constant death,” the letter said. “This year to date the city has seen 69 murders, including young children. Yet somehow things continue to get worse, as the constant drumbeat of gunshots has now been replaced with the rumbling sound of gunfire that is fully automatic.”
Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the city has driven a spike in violent crime and homicide statewide.
A record 185 Minnesotans were murdered in 2020 – an increase of 58% over 2019’s level of 117 homicides, according to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Violent crime increased in Minnesota in 2020 by 16%. Violent crime increased across the board. Arson rose 53.7% over 2019, from 462 criminal cases to 710 in 2020. Motor vehicle theft increased by nearly 20%, with 13,662 vehicles stolen – the highest since 2005 – compared to 11,410 in 2019.
At the same time, Minneapolis voters will decide whether to replace their police department with an office of public safety that may or may not have police.
The letter called on Walz to immediately send “any and all available resources” whether the State Patrol or the National Guard, to help the Minneapolis Police Department, which currently has so few officers it’s violating the city charter, one lawsuit alleges.
“During this same time period, the Mayor and City Council have failed to do anything to protect us and our children,” the letter said. “They have shown that they are either unwilling or unable to save us. The Minneapolis Police Department is spread too thin to help. Right now, we are left to fend for ourselves. We are not ‘One Minnesota’ when our children are left to be slaughtered.”
The letter continued:
“As a teacher and loving parent, we ask you to intervene and save us from this death march that the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor have placed us on,” the letter said. “We are begging that your humanity will reach deeply, beyond the politics, to lead us back to safety.”
A Walz spokesperson told The Center Square in an email: “The Governor shares their urgency to improve public safety and meets with community leaders in North Minneapolis on this issue. However, the State Patrol and Minnesota National Guard are not a substitute for a qualified local police department. This summer, the Governor took executive action to direct $15 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds toward community violence prevention and is dedicated to working to prevent gun violence by ensuring guns don’t fall into the wrong hands.”