(The Center Square) – A record 185 Minnesotans were murdered in 2020 – an increase of 58% over 2019’s level of 117 homicides, according to data from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Violent crime increased in Minnesota in 2020 by 16%.
2020 broke the Gopher State’s all-time homicide record of 183 in 1995 when Minneapolis was dubbed “Murderapolis.”
Violent crime increased across the board. Arson rose 53.7% over 2019, from 462 criminal cases to 710 in 2020. Motor vehicle theft increased by nearly 20%, with 13,662 vehicles stolen – the highest since 2005 – compared to 11,410 in 2019.
Also, 75% of the murders in 2020 were committed with a firearm, up from 69% in 2019.
- Bias crimes rose sharply in 2020, with 223 incidents reported – the highest number in 15 years. 41% of the 2020 incidents were motivated by anti-Black or African American bias
- There were 31 officer-involved shooting incidents reported in 2020, an increase of six over 2019, almost evenly split between the Twin Cities metro and Greater Minnesota
- There were a record 667 assaults on police officers in the line of duty in 2020— a 62% increase over 2019
- There were 81 human trafficking/commercial sex crimes in 2020, down from 128 in 2019
- The value of property stolen in 2020 topped $216 million, a 54.5% increase over 2019
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, partly blamed Democratic Gov. Tim Walz for not stopping the May 2020 riots before they caused $500 million in damage after the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“This is why you can’t go soft on crime. 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?”
The GOP accused DFL leadership for being “soft on crime,” alleging it sparked more violent crime.
“That failure of leadership has led to children being shot in their backyard by stray bullets, law enforcement struggling to recruit officers, and communities suffering across the state,” Gazelka said in a statement. “Everyone needs to take a step back and ask what kind of future we want to leave our children. A future with rampant crime, no repercussions, and without police is not the future I want for Minnesota.”
Gov. Tim Walz’s office hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
Walz first mobilized the Minnesota National Guard 18 hours after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey requested assistance, a GOP Senate report found. However, the guard wasn’t fully mobilized until four days after the first building was burned.
In six days of riots, the St. Paul Fire Department responded to more than 1,150 calls.