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Murders, violent crime and assaults on law enforcement reached record highs in Minnesota in 2020 — amid the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and riotous calls to defund the police, data shows.
The state recorded 185 murders in 2020 — a dramatic increase of 58 percent from a year earlier.
The grim tally eclipsed the previous high of 183 set in 1995 during the so-called “Murderapolis” era in the mid-1990s.
Eighty-two homicides were reported in Minneapolis, the state’s most populous city, followed by St. Paul, where 32 slayings were tallied.
Overall violent crime last year surged 16.6 percent throughout the state compared to 2019, while robberies increased 26.1 percent and aggravated assaults across jumped 21.7 percent. Arsons also rose by nearly 54 percent, according to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension report.
The sharp rise in violent incidents came amid unrest following the murder of Floyd, a black man, by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison in June.
Chauvin was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leading to international protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
The report found that nearly 800 police officers were assaulted throughout the state in a record 667 incidents — an increase of 62 percent from 2019. No officers were killed, according to the report.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka blamed the distressing figures on Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis officials for their response to last summer’s unrest following Floyd’s killing.
“This is why you can’t go soft on crime,” Gazelka said in a statement.
“It’s hard to see these numbers for arson, theft and assaults on police and wonder: Would it have been better if Gov. Walz stopped the riots right away last year?”
However, a spokeswoman for Walz said Gazelka held up a request by the governor to fully fund the State Patrol and other public safety measures.
Meanwhile, there was 31 police-involved shootings in 2020, up six from the year prior, according to the report.
The report also tallied 45 use-of-force incidents involving cops resulting in serious injury or death.
Ten people were ultimately killed by Minnesota cops in 2020, including George Floyd, according to records tallied by the Star Tribune.
Nine people have been killed throughout the state by cops so far in 2021, the newspaper added.
State Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said the statistics confirmed that “violent criminals are finding more victims” while a lack of accountability in the judicial system keeps residents unsafe.
Another lawmaker, Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) proposed bringing in state authorities to high-risk areas in Minneapolis, as well as expanding the police force rather than defunding it.
With Post wires
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