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Reports: Minneapolis tells citizens ‘don’t fight’, give up and ‘cooperate’ if robbed

The Minneapolis Police Crime Lab investigates a suspected homicide at 5120 Dupont Avenue North in the Lind-Bohanon neighborhood of Minneapolis, on July 16, 2015. (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons/Released)
August 03, 2020

The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota is advising robbery victims to comply with those robbing them, saying in a list of crime prevention tips “if you are confronted, stay calm and cooperate”  and “your life is worth more than your money or phone!”

The advice for robbery victims to capitulate was shared under the Robbery/Theft Prevention column shared by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). “If you are confronted, stay calm and cooperate. Your life is worth more than your money or phone!,” the advice states.

The crime prevention tips are receiving new scrutiny amid the Minneapolis City Council’s unanimous decision approving a plan to transfer current policing responsibilities away from MPD and towards a “community” alternative. The city’s police reform efforts follow a May 25 incident in which a Black man, George Floyd, died in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd’s death has set off nation-wide protests and riots over concerns about brutal and racially discriminatory policing tactics.

Another version of the crime prevention advice, reported by KSDK 5 News, states, “Despite all our efforts, robberies may still occur! Do not argue or fight with the criminal. Do as they say. Your safety is most important!”

KSDK 5 News repeated the advice in a report about a 99-year-old Minneapolis woman who was injured while fighting an intruder who entered her home on Monday of last week.

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“Minneapolis City Government tells residents to be ready to give up their phones and wallets and to always cooperate with criminals,” Daily Caller reporter Kyle Hooten tweeted, along with a list of crime prevention tips circulated in Minneapolis’ 3rd District. “Here’s the not cropped, unmarked version of that message.”

The version of the crime prevention tips circulated in the city’s 3rd District specifically reference the possibility that people may be victimized despite the best efforts the city’s crime prevention efforts. The tips circulated separately on the city’s official website were last updated on April 30 of this year and make no such references but do recommend victims cooperate with robbers.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday that the MPD had seen around 100 police officers leave the force and police stops had dropped by around 50 percent in June and July. The total number of reported crimes in the city had dropped 31 percent in June and 4 percent in July, but gunfire incidents, which can tie up numerous police resources surged 224 percent in June and 166 percent in July.

The Star Tribune also reported a string of armed robberies and carjackings in the city’s South Side communities, which include parts of the city’s 3rd precinct areas. The Third Precinct recorded 100 robberies and 20 carjackings in July alone.

Though the Minneapolis City Council is eyeing efforts to defund the MPD, the council has defended its hiring of private security agencies to protect three of its own members.