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Commentary

As Minneapolis Officials Try To Defund Police, Citizens Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

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After Minneapolis became ground zero of the riots that have swept across Democrat-dominated cities this summer, its leftist City Council members became pioneers in the national movement to “defund” police departments.

Now some of its neighborhoods are breaking ground in a new way of dealing with the criminal element to keep pleasant residential areas from turning into crime-ridden slums, and it’s a good chance liberals will like it even less than they like cops:

Citizen patrols — both armed and unarmed — are cropping up, aiming to keep the kind of order their City Council wants to abandon.

And, according to The Wall Street Journal, one of the groups has gone so far as to set up physical barriers to keep outsiders out — with the blessing of the police department, “as long as emergency responders could get through if requested by the neighborhood.”

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Given the city’s recent past, it’s easy to understand why.

It was in Minneapolis, of course, that a black man named George Floyd died in police custody after a white police office knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Even though no racial element has been established in Floyd’s death — Floyd and the officer had actually worked at the same club at the same time last year — the event became a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement, which is bent on convincing America that the country’s cops are racist killers.

Do you expect more cities to start seeing groups like this form?

That led the City Council to vote unanimously to pass a resolution that is the first step toward amending the city’s charter to allow it to get rid of or radically alter the police department as currently constituted.

(One proposal is to change the police department into a “Community Safety and Violence Prevention Department,” according to KSTP-TV.)

But changing the city charter is a lengthy process, and one Minneapolis neighborhood made national headlines when its residents vowed not to call the police about criminal activity. To the surprise of literally no sentient human being other than the nation’s liberals, those idealistic residents were soon confronted by a homeless encampment and children victimized by crime.

Oddly, the national mainstream media paid virtually no attention last week when authorities finally moved to clean out the last of the “residents” of that homeless camp, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Now, as The Wall Street Journal reports, some neighborhood residents are banding together to make sure their own areas are safe, “as the city council on Friday approved its first permanent cuts to the police budget, amid calls to defund the department and generally lower tax revenue due to the economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

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For an average, law-abiding civilian, the timing of such cuts couldn’t be much worse.

“Shootings [in the city] more than tripled in June to 75 from 24 a year earlier,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “In the first half of July, there were 43 shootings, compared with 29 in all of July 2019.”

And now citizens are setting up their own patrols to keep their neighborhoods safe.

A group called Minnesota Freedom Fighters, which advocates gun ownership in the black community, started patrols in a heavily black business district, according to The Wall Street Journal. (The group’s leader told the newspaper its patrols were shot at, but they never shot back because “but we weren’t going to return fire into a dark street.”)

In late June, according to The Journal, neighbors of an area near the Third Police Precinct, which has been abandoned by the city and torched by rioters, decided they’d had enough of lawlessness.

“It got to the point where crime had no consequences,” 30-year-old Tania Rivera, who runs a child care center in the neighborhood with her mother, told The Journal.

“It was being done deliberately out in the open. Drive-through drug dealing, drive-through prostitution, everything from gunshots to assaults to sex out in the public. Everything you didn’t want your neighborhood to look like.”

That led to community meetings where residents agreed to start putting up barriers to keep nonresidents out of their neighborhood.

“Neighborhood men also began an armed patrol, kicking out anyone who didn’t belong on the block after dark,” The Journal reported.

For many, the absurdity of the Minneapolis course of action — having the city’s elected officials declare war on the police department, only to leave the job of protecting life and property to citizens — was self-evident.

That last one makes the point that really matters.

No matter how widespread the violence has been since Floyd’s death, it has been almost entirely confined to cities that are run by Democrats.

That makes the feigned outrage of Democratic officeholders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over alleged police brutality ludicrous. But it also gives the rest of the country a hint as to the stakes in the 2020 election.

If Democrats manage to take the White House while flipping the Senate and holding onto the House of Representatives, Americans will be faced with the federal equivalent of the Minneapolis city government.

The City Council, as Townhall pointed out, has 13 members that break down to 12 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members (Democrats) and one Green Party member. Congress would not be so Democratically dominated, but at a time when Democrats vow to abolish the Senate filibuster, any Democratic majority is critically dangerous.

Plus there’s its mayor, the tragically ineffectual and pathetically arrogant Jacob Frey, a Democrat. “Tragically ineffectual” and “pathetically arrogant” sound like perfect adjectives for a potential President Joe Biden.

Minneapolis residents might be commended for taking responsibility for their own safety — just as many, many gun owners around the country would do if their own police departments were to suddenly vanish. But the reality is, the safety of the individual is why governments are instituted among men.

What’s happening in Minneapolis is the government abdicating that most fundamental responsibility. Citizens are capable of taking up the slack temporarily, but that’s not how a healthy civilization is run.

Democrats have proved over and over again in the nation’s urban areas that they’re literally incapable of governing.

Americans should never again give them a chance to prove it on a national scale.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
Birthplace
Philadelphia
Nationality
American




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