Newly released police stats reveal alarming rise in Minneapolis violent crime

There were a reported 83 carjackings in 2019 and 348 so far in 2020, an increase of 319 percent.

Background: Minneapolis Police Department. Left: MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo from MPD website. Right: Mayor Jacob Frey from Minneapolis Mayor's website.

Minneapolis has seen a citywide increase in violent crime of over 23% compared to last year with some precincts seeing over a 40% increase. Over 500 people have been shot this year, the homicide rate has nearly doubled and carjackings across the city are up by more than 300%.

That’s according to a sobering set of statistics released by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on Wednesday, which summarized the state of crime in the city so far this year.

The data release follows the police chief’s recent request for nearly a half million dollars to fund additional temporary officers from other departments through the end of the year. MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo said during a contentious City Council committee meeting last week that the extra resources are needed to deal with the “unprecedented crime” the city is experiencing right now. The plan outlined an objective of tapping into the Metro Transit Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for the extra staffing resources.

In addition to the crime surge outlined by the chief, Mayor Jacob Frey stated during the online meeting last week that the department is down about 100 officers, well above the normal rate of attrition of 40 to 45 per year. The police department’s budget director said that the officers who are out on leave are still getting paid, MPR reported.

According to the statistics released by MPD on Wednesday, the Third and Fifth Precincts of south Minneapolis have seen the greatest increases in violent crimes like robbery and aggravated assault, with increases of 42% and 41.4% over last year, respectively.

The charts also provided a comparison to the prior four-year averages for violent crimes, putting the 5th Precinct, which includes Uptown and the lakes area, at an increase of 70% and 45% for robbery and aggravated assault, respectively.

Of the 73 homicides numbered in the data release this year, 32 have taken place in the 4th Precinct, which comprises north Minneapolis. The 3rd Precinct has the next highest number of homicides this year, reported at 22.

One of the most startling numbers outlined in the charts is the overall percentage increase of carjackings. There were a reported 83 carjackings in 2019 and 348 so far in 2020, an increase of 319 percent.

Alpha News reported on one recent violent carjacking that was captured on video in the Uptown area. The video showed the driver of the vehicle being accosted by two men and thrown from the vehicle before 8 p.m. on Sunday night as he exited a sandwich shop on West Lake Street.

The City Council ultimately approved the police chief’s request for the extra funding for officers. However, it’s still unclear how or when those extra officer positions could be filled. As the Star Tribune reported this week, Metro Transit said through a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Council that they don’t have the capacity to provide resources to MPD. Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said he is open to providing help for Minneapolis, but logistics need to be sorted out first.

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.