My name is Sheila. For over 30 years I have lived in the relatively quiet community of Lind Bohanon in the Camden area of north Minneapolis. The neighborhood motto is “Feels like Home.” Crime was extremely low. Our city councilmember and police responded to issues that happened, usually in a timely manner.
On June 7, 2020, nine city council members announced with fanfare their plans to defund and disband the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).
There was an almost immediate increase in unlawful behavior in my neighborhood. Shots fired almost every night. Cars racing down the street at 50-60 miles per hour, ignoring all traffic laws. Cars stolen and jacked. Assaults. Property damage. Thefts. Neighbors injured, and many are afraid to go out walking. Families on my block terrorized for months by a mentally unstable woman. Families moving because police cannot protect us, they say.
The first job of the city council is public safety. Councilmembers have failed at their jobs. A key factor has been the continuous signaling of their dislike and intent to defund MPD. This has undermined MPD and given criminals carte blanche to do what they want.
There are three things that need to happen for the city to do its job of protecting us and keeping this a livable city:
- We need to elect council members who have experience in the communities they serve and who believe in police and police reform;
- We need to vote against the proposed city charter amendments that would abolish the police department and replace it with a yet-to-be-defined “Public Safety Department”; this set-up would have Police Chief Medaria Arradondo reporting to 14 bosses and subject to firing at the whim of an unelected bureaucrat;
- Chief Arradondo should be given the respect and resources to do the job he was appointed to do; we need to elect a council willing to work with him, not against him.
Lind Bohanon and Minneapolis no longer “feel like home.” Instead, the city is beginning to feel dangerous and hopeless. That is why I joined and have become active in Operation Safety Now.