Thomas Gallatin / November 3, 2021

Minneapolis Voters Reject ‘Defund the Police’

Residents at the epicenter of BLM’s law enforcement demonization refuse to buy into the lunacy.

Minneapolis was ground zero for the Left’s “Defund the Police” movement following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. The Democrats’ war on cops has been going on for the better part of a decade, but leftist activists like Black Lives Matter took Floyd’s death as an opportunity to press hard for radical social change. They smeared law enforcement across the nation as systemically racist and called for defunding the police, which many Democrat politicians embraced in a show of solidarity. The predictable rise in crime, however, has brought with it a backlash against “progressives” and their utopian fantasies.

On Tuesday, voters in Minneapolis finally had their say regarding the defund police movement, voting on a ballot measure that called for replacing the Minneapolis Police Department with a new department of public safety run by social workers. That initiative went down in flames, as voters rejected it by a 12-point margin, 56% to 44%.

As violent crime rose following the BLM protests and rioting after Floyd’s death, residents have been none too happy. In 2021, Minneapolis homicides jumped 16%, robberies increased 5%, and assaults rose 3% over last year. And minority neighborhoods have endured the brunt of the rising crime, which may explain why even in these neighborhoods the majority rejected the push to defund police. In fact, nationwide, Black Lives Matter is arguably responsible for the loss of 2,000 black lives last year.

Yet Democrat politicians like radical leftist Squad member Ilhan Omar showed just how out of touch with voters they can be. Last week, she urged a “yes” vote on the anti-MPD initiative, calling the vote “no less than a fight of hope versus fear, of maintaining a broken status quo that killed George Floyd or taking the path of reform.”

All Minneapolis residents can breathe a sigh of relief, but one in particular responded to the result this way: “I kind of trembled a little bit in the voting booth today because I live in one of the neighborhoods most impacted by crime and violence … and knew the correlation between the lack of policing and good policing. We can have reform and we can have enough police to keep our children, our elderly safe. So this was a win tonight.”

Meanwhile, down in the leftist hotbed of Austin, Texas, voters rejected a proposition to substantially increase the size of the city’s police force by 300 officers, enough to reach a ratio of two patrol officers for every 1,000 residents. Even as the city has experienced a rise in homicides, the measure went down hard, 68.4% to 31.6%.

It’s not universal, of course, but reforming policing instead of removing police appears to be the majority view of Americans across the nation. It’s critical that such views prevail. Not only will reduced policing yield higher crime, as evidenced in numerous big cities, but recruiting new officers will become even more difficult if Americans buy the Left’s lies.

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