Minneapolis residents are forming armed neighborhood watches as shootings triple after George Floyd's death

acollman@businessinsider.com (Ashley Collman)
minneapolis
A man carries a Black Liberation flag through a Juneteenth celebration at the memorial for George Floyd outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 19, 2020.

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

  • Armed neighborhood patrols have been forming in Minneapolis in the weeks since George Floyd's death at the end of May.

  • Floyd's death has spurred a new surge in violence and crime. According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of shootings in June tripled from last year's number.

  • Residents in one neighborhood have even installed a gate on their street to keep crime out.

  • The Minneapolis city council voted late last week to cut more than $1 million from the police budget.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Minneapolis has seen a sudden rise in violence in the wake of the police-involved killing of George Floyd at the end of May.

In response, communities in the Minnesota city have started forming neighborhood patrols to deter crime, some of them armed, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Some Black Lives Matter movement leaders have proposed defunding the police as a means to prevent police-brutality incidents, taking taxpayer money from departments and funding other organizations that might be better equipped to deal with issues traditionally under the police's purview.

Late last week the Minneapolis city council voted to cut $1.5 million from the police department's $193 million budget, according to local outlets the Star Tribune and KSTP. A portion of that money will be diverted into the Office of Violence Prevention, which pays for civilian safety patrols across the city's neighborhoods.

While this figure makes up less than 1% of the department's entire budget, lawmakers expect to enact more changes to the department in the coming months, the outlets said.

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) says violence in the city has risen in the city in the wake of Floyd's death.

Related video: What historians, activists think about the movement to remove statues

The number of shootings in May, June, and July have all risen compared to last year, The Journal reported, citing MPD data. June saw a total of 75 shooting incidents, compared to 24 in the same period last year, The Journal reported.

The increase in crime is a pattern that has been seen in other cities where a police-brutality incident has happened, such as Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, the MPD said.

Police officers are still patrolling across the city, the MPD noted.

But with many residents wary of getting the police involved — out of a lack of trust in the police, or fear that the police would escalate tensions — some communities have started their own patrols, The Journal reported.

Tania Rivera, 30, told The Journal her neighborhood started to see a surge in shootings and drug-related crimes in late June, so they installed a gate on their road to keep outsiders out. The police signed off on the gate, so long as emergency responders could get through if needed.

"It got to the point where crime had no consequences," Rivera was quoted saying. "It was being done deliberately out in the open. Drive-through drug dealing, drive-through prostitution, everything from gunshots to assaults to sex out in the public. Everything you didn't want your neighborhood to look like."

Another group, the Minnesota Freedom Fighters, a group of Black gun owners that was formed during the immediate looting and violence that came after Floyd's death.

The group kept looters at bay without firing a single shot, and now they've formed their own firm to provide security at community events.

John Elder, a spokesperson for the MPD, told The Journal the department has "long supported neighborhood patrols" but noted that they should serve as a complement to, rather than substitute of, the police.

Read The Wall Street Journal's full report here.

Read the original article on Insider