There were more assaults on Minnesota police officers in 2020 than any other year on record, according to a report released this week.
In its annual uniform crime report, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said there were 667 incidents in 2020 where an officer was assaulted in the line of duty, a 62% increase over 2019.
Overall, Minnesota saw a 16.6% increase in violent crimes last year, driven in large part by a record 185 murders. That’s a 58.1% increase over 2019’s 117 murders and two more than the 183 homicides in 1995, which was, until now, the worst year on record.
There were 45 use-of-force incidents in 2020 and 31 officer-involved shootings, an increase of six over 2019. Of the 45 use-of-force incidents, nine resulted in death. Police used force on white people more than any other race, according to the report.
The report said the 31 officer-involved shootings were “almost evenly split” between the metro area and Greater Minnesota.
The Department of Public Safety also highlighted 2020’s 223 bias crimes, the highest number in 15 years.
The value of property stolen last year topped $216 million, which is a 54% increase over 2019.
2020 was also the worst year for motor-vehicle thefts since 2005, with 13,662 vehicles stolen.
“Today’s report confirms what we’ve been talking about for several years at the Senate: violent criminals are finding more victims and lenient accountability measures in the judicial system are not keeping people safe,” said Sen. Warren Limmer, Republican chair of the Senate Public Safety and Judiciary Committee.
“Whether it’s Walz’s pathetic five-year cap on probation, apathetic prosecuting by county attorneys, or the Minneapolis City Council’s support for the ‘defund the police’ movement, criminals are running the streets, innocent children are being shot, and law enforcement is struggling to keep up,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka encouraged Minnesotans to “take a step back and ask what kind of future we want to leave our children.”