Another result? Minority neighborhoods, like Northside, are terrorized by gang shootings and other crimes. Last Friday, a leader there, Sondra Samuels, who runs the Northside Achievement Zone, which works to strengthen education and employment opportunities for black families, called me. (I was born in the Northside and am a NAZ donor.) She told me that nearby a 9-year-old girl, Trinity Ottoson-Smith, was killed by a stray bullet while jumping on a trampoline. .
“We absolutely must commit to tackling racial injustice in housing, health, education, income and wealth, while also committing to a ‘both / and’ strategy to ensure public safety “Samuels said. This means “we need BOTH a radical transformation of policing culture AND sufficient police personnel to keep our neighborhoods and our children safe. That means refinancing the police, no funding them.”
Black residents make up about 20% of Minneapolis, but well over 60% of shooting victims. Alas, you’d never know from the public debate, Samuels said, because these shootings don’t usually involve white cops.
“Over the past year, my neighbors and I have seen black mothers react with disbelief when their child is killed in community violence and not by a white cop. Their tragedies do not spark citywide protest rallies, people do not say their child’s name, and there is no citywide demand for this to stop.
Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, bravely fought the police funders of his reckless city council. “When you make big, comprehensive statements that we’re going to fund or abolish and dismantle the police service and get rid of all the officers, there is an impact,” he said recently. “We need accountability and a culture change within our department, and we need the police.”
Last week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, at Frey’s request, ordered the National Guard to “begin preparing” to be sent to Minneapolis, if necessary, to help local police keep the peace.
This is political dynamite for Democrats. Trump’s cult GOP will hammer them on this law enforcement issue. Biden must continue to rally his party tightly around his right answer: a transformed police and sufficient police – without funding the police.