Minneapolis records 86th homicide, surpassing 2020 total

There were 84 homicides in all of 2020.

Minneapolis police respond to the scene of a robbery in early November. (Kyle Hooten/Alpha News)

On Nov. 8 the city of Minneapolis reached a tragic mark of 86 recorded homicides in 2021, surpassing the total number of homicides throughout all of 2020.

That day, according to a press release issued Tuesday, Minneapolis firefighters who extinguished a “fully engulfed” RV found the corpse of a “severely burned” woman inside. She was determined to be seven months pregnant.

One week later, following a suspicious death investigation, Minneapolis police arrested Jade Monet Rissell, 27, and Shannon Michael Benson, 42. They have both been charged with two counts of second degree murder, one for the mother and one for the unborn child.

According to Crime Watch Minneapolis, Benson is a “known psychopathic sexually dangerous predator” who worked with Rissell to lure the victim to their trailer on 4th Avenue South and East 25th Street. There, they beat the victim unconscious with brass knuckles, left her body for “a few days,” and then moved the trailer to 35th Street and Hennepin Avenue where they burned the trailer “to cover up the victim’s body.”

Crime data via the Minneapolis Police Department shows 84 recorded homicides from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, including George Floyd and Dolal Idd. That represented a full 75% jump from 2019, which had only 48 recorded homicides.

The Minneapolis record for homicides came in the year 1995. Ninety-seven of them were recorded that year, which led people to nickname the city “Murderapolis.”

If the homicide rate continues at its current pace, the city will set a new record in 2021 with 100 homicides.

The state of Minnesota itself is suffering from increased violent crime, though the increases in Minneapolis are undoubtedly playing a role in the statewide numbers.

Violent crime increased in Minnesota by 16.6% in 2020, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s annual report. The state’s 185 murders that year set a new record, amounting to a 58.1% increase from 2019’s 117 murders.

There was also a 62% increase in the number of Minnesota police officers assaulted in the line of duty.

“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,” said Sen. Warren Limmer following the release of the report earlier this year.

In this month’s elections the people of Minneapolis voted against a charter amendment to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a public safety department. Despite the assurance that the MPD will continue to exist, staffing remains a premier concern after the exodus of officers following the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.