About 9 of 10 Minneapolis crimes do not result in arrest

Among these unresolved cases are three shootings of children.

A Minneapolis police officer sits in his squad car behind a police line at the scene of a shooting. (Tony Webster/Flickr)

About nine of every 10 crimes go unsolved in Minneapolis. Among these unresolved cases are three shootings of children.

Only 12% of offenses committed in the city result in arrests as of early August. This represents a drastic decrease from previous years before the George Floyd riots during which the solve rate ranged from 28% in 2018 to 20% in 2019.

In “certain [crime] categories it has even become worse,” University of St. Thomas professor Manjeet Rege explained to WCCO. Shootings and homicides are among the most difficult cases to solve as Minneapolis police have scrambled to respond to thousands of reports of shots fired and 68 reportable homicides inflicted by various means.

Six-year-old Aniya Allen and nine-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith were both killed in the crossfire during Minneapolis shootouts this year. Neither of their killers have been brought to justice. Ten-year-old Ladavionne Garret Jr. was shot but survived. His shooter also remains at large.

There is a $180,000 reward for information about the people who shot these children. Tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

“It’s hard to solve a crime, yeah, on television it looks so easy,” Mylan Masson, a law enforcement expert who made headlines for her commentary on Floyd’s death, told WCCO. “They [the police] have to be darn sure because they have to have probable cause, they have to have all the evidence in straight lines.”

Historically, between about 70-80% of murders in America are solved, according to data ranging from 1979 to 2019. During this time frame, Washington, D.C. had the worst homicide clearance rate at 37% while North Dakota boasts a 94% solve rate.

Below is a map of this year’s homicides in the city, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis.

Some attribute the rise in unsolved crimes to the city’s willingness to defund and disempower its police. Beginning Friday, citizens will be asked to vote on an amendment to further deconstruct law enforcement.

While the language of the amendment was adopted 12-1 by the City Council, a yes decision on this referendum would have such radical consequences that even some progressives no longer support the measure. Mayor Jacob Frey, for example, opposes this plan, stating that it would “dilute accountability by diffusing responsibility for public safety across 14 policymakers” as the council assumes control of law enforcement.