According to a recently retired Minneapolis police officer, nearly 200 cops have left the force in the last year because they feel “helpless.”
“You take away loitering laws and the ability to pursue vehicles. You don’t have to stop for the police in Minneapolis anymore, thanks to Mayor Frey and the city council. Cops get frustrated,” said Steve Dykstra, who left the force last summer, adding that he refuses to be a “stand-down cop.”
“What you see is chaos, violence, and reoccurring crime.”
Will this be the price of living in an American city in the future? With so many policemen retiring and the radical city council still calling for more cuts in police funding, what’s happening in Minneapolis is likely to be duplicated in many cities.
Chief Moore said the vehicle stops were necessary right now because there were so many guns on the streets, but he emphasized that other strategies — such as working with gang interventionists — were a higher priority. And he said the numbers of stops had been relatively low — 538 so far this year in South Los Angeles, compared with more than 3,700 during the same period in 2019. (Last year the number of vehicle stops were minimal, he said, partly because of the pandemic.)
As a Black man growing up in South Los Angeles, Mr. Harris-Dawson said he was routinely pulled over by the police, and that didn’t stop even as he rose to power in city politics. One night last year, after attending a Lakers game, he was pulled over in his neighborhood, he said, because the police were suspicious of his government license plate.
“The expectation was like, Why is there a government plate in this area? Someone must have made off with a government car,” he said.
Mr. Harris-Dawson said that rather than being a pretext for more policing, the rise in crime should intensify efforts only at reform.