Three months after pledging to end the city’s police department, the Minneapolis City Council pressed chief Medaria Arradondo for a plan to address crime in their wards.
During the Tuesday night meeting, Council President Lisa Bender described conversations with constituents who said responding patrol officers told them that they weren’t enforcing laws and that the bloodshed would continue unless the city hired more police, an observation echoed by several of her colleagues, the Star-Tribune reports.
“This is not new, but it is very concerning in the current context. So, I think there are a number of possible explanations for this. I think it’s possible they are essentially campaigning ... because they don’t support the council member or, in some cases, the mayor, or perhaps they think that they are making the case for more resources for the department,” said Bender, who represents the 10th Ward in south Minneapolis. “I can tell you in my ward, it is having the opposite effect. It is making people even more frustrated with the department. ... How do we get this under control?”
Arradondo called her comments “troubling to hear” and promised he would address the issue with departmental supervisors. Noting that some residents feel apprehensive about calling police and that others have said they felt they were being held hostage by the current environment, Arradondo said, many people will need to make compromises while they work to reimagine public safety. That could, he said, include council members.
“That may mean you making commitments that might be uncomfortable for some of those constituents that you represent, but if your ultimate goal is to have true community safety, I will tell you right now, we have to work together in that effort,” he said.