Minneapolis Mayor Says Violent Juvenile Crime Increasing During Pandemic


Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) says schools must stay open despite the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in order to keep youth residents from committing violent crimes.

“We’ve gotta keep the schools open. This is very clear to me,” Frey reportedly said. “Yes, we need to make sure we’re abiding by the necessary safety precautions. Yes, we need to make sure anyone from parents to teachers to students are protected in full from the dangers associated with a global pandemic, and we need to make sure the students are in the schools and that they’re able to learn.”

According to the second term mayor, carjacking is one of the violent crimes of choice by the city’s youth. As reported late last year, carjackings in the city increased by 289 percent during 2021.

“When we don’t have that, boredom sets in. And boredom is no excuse for carjacking,” he said. “But it’s on all of us to make sure that these recreational, educational activities continue.”

Frey also recognized that there are other factors that caused the uptick in violent crime, noting that there are “100 different causal factors associated with the increase in crime that we’ve seen over the last year and a half,” but only referenced lack of recreational activities for kids as an explainer.

“It’s the fact we’ve had distanced learning and recreational activities have been slim to at times none,” he said. “We need to make sure that these recreational activities, these opportunities for kids to safely play and have something to do, are dramatically increased and that they come back.”

Frey’s office did not return a comment request.

Minneapolis was ground zero for the “defund the police” movement in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020.

Violent riots consumed the city and spread to others while lawmakers and others said the police force should be done away with completely.

The city’s police force started 2021 down more than 200 officers from the year prior, and ended almost 300 officers down from 2020.

The city is scrambling to find new officers, and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo asked the City Council for $6.4 million to hire new police officers in early 2021.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jacob Frey” by Jacob Frey.

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