Graffiti spotted throughout the city of Minneapolis explicitly calls for the murder of police officers.
One public bench was spray-painted with the words, “Save lives, kill cops.” A sign outside Black Coffee and Waffle Bar has a depiction of a dead pig, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis, who has been tracking the rise in extremist graffiti.
“The amount of graffiti across Minneapolis (and other areas) has spiraled out of control since the 2020 riots. It’s not benign. It’s not art. Much of it is part of a larger tactic to alter perceptions and place financial and resource burdens on the city/county/state for removal,” Crime Watch explains.
.#SEMPLS 15th to 18th and Como Ave SE
Not benign. Not art.
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) March 7, 2022
One follower said they manage a business in Minneapolis and it “gets tagged almost daily.”
“I live in [Northeast Minneapolis] and call 311 frequently to report graffiti. They usually clean it up. But it is a very severe problem in this city,” another said.
One user said she saw the words “kill pigs” spray-painted on a police station last week. The Minneapolis Police Department’s Fifth Precinct was tagged with phrases like “shoot back” and “looks good on fire” during an Antifa march last month.
Protesters returned to the MPD 5th precinct after trashing and disrupting traffic on Lake Street and tried to break through the security barricades. Police were never present or made themselves known. pic.twitter.com/U535Piqihf
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) February 12, 2022
According to city data, Minneapolis had 9,662 instances of graffiti in 2020, up from 8,300 in 2019. The city reported 8,685 instances through October of last year. April 2021 was one of the worst years on record with 1,359 reports of graffiti.
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Police Department has lost more than half of its patrol officers, whose ranks are down to 268, spread across five precincts and three shifts.