As we enter summer, I wanted to update you on some of the issues I have been working on during the ongoing special session. With the events of the last year taking place, I was expecting crime to go up in the metro area. With that said, I am surprised just how much it has gone up.
That’s why I have offered several bills and amendments that would help break the chain of violence plaguing the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as things appear to be getting worse. For example, there were multiple shots fired on or near the Capitol grounds on two separate occasions last week. On Friday night, five people, including three U of M students, were shot in Dinkytown.
At the same time, a union representing employees from the University submitted a collective bargaining contract proposal that included requests to disarm U of M police — the same officers that so bravely ran to assist the victims of those recent shootings.
If you or a loved one attends the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, I encourage you to contact the school’s leadership and tell them to support the U of M Police Department.
Sadly, the DFL House majority has refused to hear my bills in committee and blocked other bills and amendments to improve safety from becoming law.
The issue goes beyond the U of M as it is crystal clear that there is a major crime problem across the Twin Cities. In recent weeks, there have been multiple high-profile examples of innocent bystanders being killed in incidents involving criminals who should have been in prison. A man was killed in downtown Minneapolis by an individual who had their jail sentence stayed by a judge. The St. Thomas student killed in downtown Minneapolis last month was shot by an individual who had pleaded down a prior gun charge, and was awaiting trial for a similar shooting.
This rise in crime is not limited to the metro area alone. On Sunday morning, a St. Cloud State University professor was shot and killed as he stood in his house. A man that should have been in prison, but had a previous felony assault conviction stayed by a judge, has been arrested for the random shooting.
I continue to be shocked at the anti-police, anti-public-safety approach taken by Democrats. It’s time to get serious about addressing rising levels of crime to make sure that Minnesotans feel safe in their homes and communities. — Paul Novotny, Elk River (Editor’s note: Novotny is the House District 30A representative in the Minnesota House of Representatives. District 30A includes Elk River and Big Lake.)