Fact check finds Walz claims about Minnesota crime ‘just plain wrong’

David Zimmer, a public safety policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, said Minnesota is "nowhere near the top for lowest crime rates." 

Gov. Tim Walz discusses public safety ahead of the Minnesota State Fair. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz/Flickr)

Gov. Tim Walz’s claim that 45 states have higher crime rates than Minnesota is “just plain wrong,” according to a recent fact check.

David Zimmer, a public safety policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, said Minnesota is “nowhere near the top for lowest crime rates.”

In an interview with Esme Murphy of WCCO TV at the Minnesota State Fair Sunday, Walz said Minnesotans’ tolerance for crime is “incredibly low.”

“The fact as it stands today is, there are 45 states with higher crime rates than Minnesota,” Walz said in the interview.

To say Minnesota is in the top for lowest crime rates is totally inaccurate, Zimmer said.

“After the riots of 2020, Minnesota has been climbing the national rankings in Part 1 crimes and we are now officially a high crime state,” Zimmer said in a press release.

Part 1 crimes include murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, Zimmer said.

“Crime arguably had begun to level off, but we are still at an unreasonably high level of crime,” Zimmer told Alpha News. “And we are not going in the right direction.”

Zimmer said American Experiment researchers could not verify Walz’s statements about crime.

In fact, according to FBI data for 2020 found on the Crime Data Explorer, Minnesota ranks 27th in Part 1 crimes, 13th in violent crime, and 30th in property crime, Zimmer said.

“No matter how you manipulate the statistics, you can’t get Minnesota into the top five or even top ten states when it comes to protecting citizens from crime,” Zimmer said in the press release.

Zimmer said Minnesota had been among the lowest states in crime, but since 2020 the state has exceeded the national average.

“We started seeing an increase in crime in 2018. Prior to that we had always been below the national average, which was a source of pride for our state. We’ve lost that distinction,” he said.

The state had seen a 23-year steady drop in crime going back to 1995 when Minneapolis was dubbed “Murderapolis,” Zimmer said. “In 2018, crime started picking up.”

Minnesota was the third-lowest state for incarceration in 2021, below only Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Minnesota’s incarceration rate is 132 per 100,000. The national average is 300 per 100,000.


Sheila Qualls

Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.