Representative Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN-5) stated that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) hasn’t solved half the homicides and destroys rape kits. Because of this, she says, the MPD should be dismantled.
“We can reimagine a public safety system that empowers and provides safety for every person in our city regardless of the color of their skin or zip code,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted. “Dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department is necessary in order to heal and move forward as a community.”
We can reimagine a public safety system that empowers and provides safety for every person in our city regardless of the color of their skin or zip code.
Dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department is necessary in order to heal and move forward as a community. pic.twitter.com/j4UqbOCQ0B
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) September 13, 2020
“You know, half of the homicides goes unsolved by the MPD. We’ve heard many reports of rape kits being destroyed.”
Omar didn’t cite sources for her claims about the MPD’s handling of homicides and rape kits. The outspoken representative also didn’t go into depth about the reasons behind these realities.
Omar’s mention of unsolved homicide case numbers appears to refer to the results of an investigation by The Washington Post. However, police categorize some cases as “unsolved” for reasons other than not knowing the killer. Murder-suicides, victims of domestic abuse killing their abuser, and lack of cooperating witnesses or even testimonies from witnesses all fail to lead to arrests. Therefore, those cases qualify as “unsolved” cases.
Omar’s other point about police destroying rape kits belies the true issue. Law enforcement officials have been asking Minnesota’s lawmakers to create a centralized storage system for rape kits and establish consistent, clear testing protocols. Legally, there exists no standardization of the process – especially for victims who change their mind about reporting later on.
Kits aren’t usually destroyed due to carelessness or incompetency. Victims may decide not to pursue the matter, or police acted on unclear, inconsistent guidelines on discerning founded versus unfounded cases (namely, issues with clarifying consent).
Omar also stated that “a majority of the people don’t trust Minneapolis Police.” Polling sends mixed messages: a majority of voters believe MPD shouldn’t be reduced in size, but hold an unfavorable opinion of MPD overall.
The congresswoman concluded that the solution was coming together as a community and reimagining what public safety would look like for them. Omar didn’t offer specifics on this new body of public safety.
“I believe we are a resilient city, and we will come through this with a plan that really provides safety for each and every single person in our city. Regardless of what zip code they’re living in and what color of the skin that they are in.”
Limited policing didn’t improve the safety of Minneapolis residents after Floyd’s death. MPD, like many other police departments nationwide, were told to stand down during the riots.
Going forward, Representative Omar stated that her main focus is to stop the re-election of President Donald Trump.
We must remember our communities have been facing decades of social & economic neglect.
We cannot being to address that neglect if we don’t elect leaders who have fluency in our day to day struggles.
That starts with getting rid of this incompetent, corrupt president. pic.twitter.com/1FUZeBOVag
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 13, 2020
“We must remember our communities have been facing decades of social & economic neglect. We cannot being to address that neglect if we don’t elect leaders who have fluency in our day to day struggles. That starts with getting rid of this incompetent, corrupt president,” she tweeted.
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