Omar blames police officers for Minneapolis crime epidemic

Omar called the MPD "dysfunctional" and accused its officers of willfully failing to provide adequate public safety.

Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks at a town hall Saturday in Minneapolis. (Mike Berg/Twitter)

Rep. Ilhan Omar blamed the Minneapolis Police Department for the city’s violent crime epidemic.

At a town hall on Saturday, Omar called the MPD “dysfunctional” and accused its officers of willfully failing to provide adequate public safety.

“The reduction in policing currently in our city and the lawlessness that is happening is due to two things: One, the police have chosen to not fulfill their oath of office and provide the public safety they are owed to the citizens they serve,” she said.

“The Minneapolis Police Department is the most dysfunctional police department in our state and probably in the country.”

The congresswoman continued by calling for “accountability,” that is, for someone at the Minneapolis Police Department to publicly take responsibility for its alleged shortcomings.

This segued into a discussion of the proposed Minneapolis City Charter public safety amendment, a measure on the ballot in November that, if passed, would replace the MPD with a “department of public safety.”

Omar is an enthusiastic supporter of the amendment, though this is hardly the case with other Minnesota Democrats. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, as well as Gov. Tim Walz, have expressed their misgivings about it.

Smith said in a statement last week that she cannot vote in favor of the amendment because the new department of public safety would be subordinate to both the mayor and the Minneapolis City Council.

“I believe imposing this dysfunctional structure for public safety would likely have a negative effect on public safety and the operations of the police department. This is why I’ll oppose Charter Amendment #2,” she said.

The crime epidemic in Minneapolis has reached such an intolerable level that residents in the northern part of the city recently sent a letter to Gov. Walz asking for National Guard or Minnesota State Police assistance.

Unfortunately, the response they received was inadequate.

“Nothing in this letter commits to sending additional resources to Minneapolis to aid us,” concerned resident Tyler Balbuena told KSTP. “To me it seems the governor is telling us we are still on our own.”


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.