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Carjackings in Minneapolis Up 537% Amid “Defund the Police” Movement

Carjackings in Minneapolis Up 537% Amid “Defund the Police” Movement

by Leah AnayaDecember 3, 2020

Minneapolis, MN – Amid the “defund the police” movement in Minneapolis, police have taken reports of over 125 carjacking incidents in the past two months. This number represents a 537% increase in this type of violent crime over November of 2019.

Police have advised that the attacks have been trending to target the elderly, unaccompanied women, as well as distracted victims getting into or out of their vehicles. Several suspects have used the guise of asking for directions, according to a Minneapolis Police Department crime alert.  Three carjacking attacks took place just on Saturday morning, November 28, within one hour of each other. In one incident, an elderly woman was hit on the head during her encounter with the suspect.

To date this year, 375 carjackings have been reported, which is three times higher than 2019 with just over four weeks left in the year. The majority of the incidents are believed to have been committed by juveniles, but police say that despite that, there are still a rising number of adults involved in the crime.

Police spokesman John Elder said, “The numbers are staggering. It defies all civility and any shred of common human decency.” Carjackings used to be categorized under the robbery elements due to the infrequency of the specific crime, but thanks to a severe surge during the summer, police recoded the crime to carjacking on September 22. They then retroactively categorized and collected data for the incidents.

In addition to these rising numbers, murder in the city is also up 50%, and over 500 people have been shot so far this year, twice as many as 2019.

Minneapolis residents are reportedly starting to mobilize within their communities to encourage people to speak up to elected officials over the defunding of the city’s police. City Council members Lisa Bender, Phillipe Cunningham, and Steve Fletcher have proposed an immediate five percent budget cut to MPD, which they claim will be moved instead to “violence prevention,” which includes a mental health crisis team and a unit meant to take reports of property damage and parking violations.

Despite his previous firm advocacy of defunding the police, Mayor Jacob Frey has called the proposal “irresponsible and untenable.” Frey said, “This notion that in order to have a more comprehensive public safety strategy you have to do away with one critical element, which is police, is wrong.” Frey mentioned that while people are seeking police reform, they don’t want it at the expense of their community safety.

Likewise, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo indicated that the politicians are axing the funding with the intent of appeasing only one group of constituents. He said, “Crime is occurring, the shootings, the carjackings, the robberies. They are citywide, they are impacting everyone, and not just one constituency base and not just one neighborhood.”

Over 200 people have signed up to speak at the Council’s “truth-in-taxation” meeting Wednesday night, where the proposal and the future of policing in the city is being discussed.

The Star Tribune reported having spoken with several community members that are concerned with the way defunding is heading with their city’s police department. One man, Higgins Victor, said to the Tribune, “I am unsettled by the acceptance that carjacking and attempted murder is being normalized as a new way of life in our city. Police are gone. Criminals are emboldened. City leaders are not working toward common goals.”

About The Author
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya
Leah Anaya is a medically retired police officer. She served for three years at the Oakland Police Department, and just under five at a department in Washington State. Before that, she was an intelligence analyst in the US Army. She is now a stay at home mom living with her husband, who is still serving as a police officer, and their three children. She also grew up as the daughter of a police officer in California. Leah is now a writer and Deputy Editor at Law Enforcement News Network as well as the Business Manager for Washington State FOP. She's a peer support advocate for The Wounded Blue and Serve and Protect. You can find her on social media @leahmsanaya or at
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[…] LENN reported recently, violence in Minneapolis has skyrocketed in recent months, while officers have reportedly […]