Sexual assault and other crimes are increasing in areas whose residents support the “defund the police movement.”
One of these areas, a majority-white neighborhood in Minneapolis, has reported three sexual assaults in two weeks. The assaults are connected to a growing homeless population in the area’s Powderhorn Park – the same place where city leaders proudly announced plans to end the Minneapolis Police Department after the death of George Floyd.
There are now roughly 800 people living in Powderhorn Park; drug overdoses are common.
Even so, residents continue to refuse police assistance. One community organizer said that sexual assaults “can happen in any park” and said the solution was to build more homes, not call the police. One of the assaults occurred just four days after city leaders rejected a proposal to restrict homeless encampments in parks.
The same phenomenon is occurring in Seattle, where residents continue to reject police assistance even after witnessing a series of shootings, sexual assaults, arsons, and other crimes in and around the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP).
CHOP, a so-called autonomous zone, was established by protestors on June 8th after police abandoned the East Precinct building following a violent clash with civilians. The chaos continued until June 22nd, when a series of shootings (to which police and medics were unable to respond) left one person dead and another hospitalized.
“Over the last month thousands of people, including families, have visited the area and shown their support for the messages of equality and change,” announced Durkan. “Unfortunately, that message has been undermined by violence in the area. The area has increasingly attracted more individuals bent on division and violence, and it is risking the lives of individuals.”
Police cleared the last protestors from the zone on July 1st, arresting more than 30 people who refused to leave.
Despite this painfully clear example of what happens to society without police, Seattle’s City Council is considering proposals to cut the police budget, transform the East Precinct building into a community center, and limit the types of munitions cops can use against protestors.
Author’s Note: Of course criminals will flock to areas without police presence. I don’t know why this is a surprise to anyone.