We have followed the fate of law enforcement in Minneapolis since the death of Saint George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. We have also followed the related media coverage, which has amplified and confused the multifarious racial issues. As the Minneapolis Police Department has contracted to the size of a shrunken head — a shrunken head capable of scaring no one — we have repeatedly asked who in his right mind would go to work for it. Among the inhibitions is the relentlessly stupid coverage afforded by the Star Tribune.
Departmental manpower is so inadequate at present that the department limited its response to nonemergency calls at one point this week. I know because the heroic reporter behind CrimeWatchMpls covered it. I’m not sure the news made it into the Star Tribune.
Holding all non-priority calls city wide.
Means, if you're not bleeding and dying, cops aren't coming to your issue.
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) September 9, 2022
Like other big cities misruled for generations by Democrats, Minneapolis has descended to something like the Hobbesian state of nature. Minneapolis isn’t even that big. Indeed, its 2020 population is down about 100,000 from 1950. But put that to one side.
Today’s Star Tribune features the story “After three overnight shootings in Minneapolis, community members want plan for peace.” Subhead: “Three separate shootings left two dead and seven injured Thursday night and early Friday.” We have a crisis of crime and chaos.
A related story reports “Task force urges Minneapolis to be more aggressive against violent crime.” (“The city has solved just 38% of homicides and 12% of carjackings, according to a new report.”) What won’t they think of next?
Speaking of “reports,” let us recall the Star Tribune story on the pending Minnesota Department of Human Rights charge against the department. The MDHR charge alleges illegally discriminatory policing based on race over a period of 10 years. Under its current story on overnight shootings, the Star Tribune links to its April 28 story on what it persistently calls the MDHR “report” on the Minneapolis Police Department. This is the April story: “In communities of color, scathing report on Minneapolis police is no surprise.” The story opens:
Marcia Howard’s voice cracked with emotion as she reflected on how it felt to finally see in print what many people of color had been saying for decades — that the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern of illegal racial discrimination.
Ever since the Minnesota Department of Human Rights released a damning report Wednesday finding that city police had engaged in racist practices over the last decade, she’s heard “a whole lot of ‘I told you so’s.'”
“Each and every one of those 72 pages is an indictment of the Minneapolis Police Department and the city of Minneapolis for allowing these people to do this to the citizens of this city,” said Howard, who has been a lead protester at George Floyd Square. “What person in their right mind and in the right spirit could read that report and think that we should continue in the way that we have?”
She added: “It has roiled our community. It is what we’ve been talking about nonstop.”
I bet that’s not what they’re talking about today. They’re talking about yesterday’s shootings and demanding a “plan for peace,” in the words of the headline over the story.
In any event, the 72-page “report” is not a “report.” It is the MDHR charge against the Minneapolis Police Department. It is posted online here. To be sure, it is packaged in the form of a “report,” but it is nothing more than a charge by a third-rate state agency that I believe remains unresolved as of this date.
Municipal authorities can’t wait to sell out the police department. There is no appetite anywhere among the authorities to mount a defense of the Minneapolis police, but they are having a hard time surrendering. They can’t quite figure out the facts underlying the charge.
I filed Data Practices Act requests with the MDHR seeking the underlying documents. They claimed an exemption, but they owe the documents to the city if the case isn’t settled. I also filed a Data Practices Act request with the city. The city attorney produced its correspondence with MDHR below pleading for the underlying facts to substantiate the charge. I have lost track of the progress of the case against the department, but the correspondence reflects MDHR’s failure to produce the facts in response to the city’s request.