Addressing the media yesterday, Minneapolis police officials said they are making steady progress in combating the number of shootings throughout the city, and they note that Minneapolis has seen a drop off since the departments added extra patrols.
Through the midweek, 245 individuals had been wounded in shootings across Minneapolis in 2016, with 170 coming on the city’s North Side. At this same point last year, only 173 people had been shot, so while there has been a stark increase in the total number of shootings, police say they have dramatically declined over the last few weeks thanks to increased patrols in gang-rife neighborhoods.
“We’re trending in the right direction, [although] we’re certainly not where we want to be,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau at a morning news conference at police headquarters downtown.
Additionally, Chief Harteau said police were stepping up their tactics by deploying more mobile cameras in high-crime areas. The cameras, and the added police presence, have resulted in the removal of nearly 100 guns from north Minneapolis this summer alone.
Gang Violence in Minneapolis
Police say many of the shootings in Minneapolis, especially on the city’s North Side, are the result of gang violence. Chief Harteau pleaded with gang members and their families to help put an end to the unnecessary violence.
“I know there are plenty of moms out there who don’t want to lose their sons to prison,” Harteau said. “But you’re either going to lose them to prison or you’re going to lose them to homicide.”
Although Harteau claims that the violence on the city’s North Side has been declining over the past few weeks, the fact of the matter is that violent crime is still up 7 percent in Minneapolis in 2016 compared to last year. It’s even more problematic on the North Side, as violent crime is up 15 percent in the city’s Fourth Precinct.