Friday night on Almanac’s Roundtable, one of the subjects discussed by DFL spinmeister Abu Amara and GOP political strategist Gregg Peppin was the subject of police reform. That was a topic because Gov. Walz signed into law a police reform bill. As usual, Amara got this wrong. Amara said that Democrats insist that the bill signed this week “was just a first step in really transforming policing and I suspect, as we go into 2021 legislative session, this will continue to be a top issue.” That’s spoken like a true urbanite.

Peppin got things right in saying “in the backdrop of this agreement, Eric, is what you’re seeing in Minneapolis and what’s really turning out to be an extreme measure by the Minneapolis City Council from Minneapolis politicians, they’re moving forward. They want to defund, they want to defang the police and I’m hearing from people in suburban communities that are saying ‘enough. Enough is enough. We’re not going to go to downtown Minneapolis. We’re not going to send our children to the U of M this semester.’ There’s real concern about that.”

Let’s be clear about this as a political issue. While it’s a big deal in Minneapolis, it isn’t as big an issue in the suburbs or in rural Minnesota because this is mostly a Minneapolis problem. Here in St. Cloud, people wanted to see something done because of the George Floyd thing. Now that the signing ceremony is behind us, most people will be fine with that. In St. Cloud, we haven’t had the problems that Minneapolis has had.

Things are reaching crisis stage in Minneapolis, though:

An email that was obtained by The New York Times said that the department would not “be going back to business as usual.” Commander Scott Gerlicher, head of the Special Operations and Intelligence Division, wrote in the email to supervisors this month that, “Due to significant staffing losses of late,” the department was “looking at all options” for responding to calls, including shift, schedule and organizational changes. He also included in the email that they were “looking for reasonable and safe alternatives to police services in some areas.”

TRANSLATION: People are leaving so fast that we can’t replace them. That isn’t all, though:

“Cops have not been to the work level of before, but it’s not a slowdown,” said Walker. “They’re just not being as proactive because they know they’re not supported in case something bad happens.”

Tensions between the city and its Police Department come as crime is on the rise, according to the Boston website. There have been 16 homicides since June 1, more than twice as many as during the same period last year. Violent crime is up by 20% compared with the same stretch a year ago.

Things are getting worse in Minneapolis because the police know that Mayor Frey and the City Council are looking for opportunities to criticize the police. Why stick your neck out when the powers-that-be want to put it in a guillotine?

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