As Minneapolis Burns, Jewish Mayor Takes Heat For The Response

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a news conference Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. Violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody rocked a Minneapolis neighborhood for a second straight night as angry crowds looted stores, set fires and left a path of damage that stretched for miles. The mayor asked the governor to activate the National Guard. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — First-term Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey appeared to be doing everything right.

He worked with the city’s booming business community and the City Council. He reached out to minority neighborhoods and advocated for affordable housing. He implemented stricter disciplinary measures against police who violated the city’s body camera policy.

When George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes and ignored his “I can’t breathe” pleas, Frey quickly expressed outrage and called for charges against the officer. Four officers were fired the next day, and on Friday, Officer Derek Chauvin was charged in Floyd’s death.

But Frey’s leadership is being questioned after police failed to quell several nights of rioting, fires and ransacking of local businesses that followed Floyd’s death. Frey, who pleaded for calm, also approved the decision to abandon the city’s 3rd Precinct station on Thursday night, surrendering it to protesters who set fire to the building.

The night the station burned, Frey appeared at an early-morning news conference after hours of criticism on social media for a police response that didn’t confront the violence despite the activation of the National Guard. As he began talking, one reporter snapped, “What’s the plan here?” Frey struggled to answer, and the next morning, Gov. Tim Walz — like Frey, a Democrat — criticized the “abject failure” of the city’s response and said the state had taken control. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to call Frey a “very weak Radical Left Mayor” and threatened to get involved.

By early Saturday morning, it was Walz who found himself struggling with the enormity of the challenge, conceding that he didn’t have enough people to cope with the protests and moving to mobilize another 1,000 Guard members. Walz also took pains to praise Frey, who appeared alongside him after another night of unrest.

Some wonder whether Frey’s approach to the crisis might damage his chances for reelection next year. The 38-year-old former lawyer, community organizer and one-term City Council member took office in 2018 after defeating Betsy Hodges, whose time as mayor was marred by two high-profile police shootings.

The 2015 shooting of 24-year-old black resident Jamar Clark after a scuffle with two white police officers set off weeks of protests; neither officer was charged. The 2017 shooting of unarmed Australia native Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her house, provoked an international outcry. The black officer in that case was convicted of third-degree murder and is serving a 12 1/2-year term.

Frey campaigned partly on a promise to add police officers. But a City Council committee this spring voted against applying for a federal grant to hire 10 new officers for traffic enforcement, with one member saying he worried it would exacerbate racial disparities in vehicle stops.

Community activist Mel Reeves, who said he has led rallies to protest Floyd’s killing, refused to discuss the mayor’s response except to say that Frey had been “put in a difficult position.” He said the black community doesn’t trust police and prosecutors to do the right thing.

“The mayor is new, and he said all the right things,” Reeves said. “This is not about the mayor; it’s about the police department.”

The day after the 3rd Precinct fire, University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs said Frey was “out of his depth” and “clearly unable to understand what he has to do to restore order while also creating the kind of healing that has to happen in Minneapolis.”

He said abandoning the police station “sent a powerful message” that the city was not in control.

“There needs to be another message: ‘Here is the line and order will be maintained,’” said Jacobs. “You’ve got businesses that are just shocked without words to see property going up in flames, often with no police intervention at all. You have the black community (that has) heard his words but does not believe them.

“He worked really hard at those relationships and they appear to be in tatters. And I think a lot of residents are unnerved by the violence and the chaos.”

Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, said the mayor still has his support, and that many businesses damaged by the violent protests, including those owned by minorities and immigrants, want to rebuild.

“There is a lot of fear right now. If your store has been hit, you feel violated,” said Weinhagen, adding that some businesses already were suffering because of the coronavirus restrictions. “They were just beginning to see some light and this hit.”

But he believes the mayor is “leading with his values” and getting a lot of things right, including requesting the Guard assistance and implementing a curfew Friday and Saturday nights.

Jacobs, the political scientist, said Frey has been energetic, upbeat and dynamic, effectively leading the fast-growing city. But his inexperience with crisis management has shown.

“Until about a week ago, he looked to be on glide path to reelection, and within a week, his mayorship looks like it’s crumbled,” Jacobs said.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. “Frey struggled to answer, and the next morning, Gov. Tim Walz — like Frey, a Democrat — criticized the “abject failure” of the city’s response and said the state had taken control”

    Yeh yeh. Typical democrats. Clueless how to deal with rioters. Don’t ever want to be called the R word. Better to let the City and State burn to the ground, as long as Van Jones doesn’t call you a R A C I S T!!!

    • How about the clueless Republican president who was criticized but a general who has combat experience compared to the president who has excellent bedroom combat experience and of course did not serve in the military due to serious impairment of a calcaneal spur. would I say that this white specimen if a typical successful republican

  2. Sanctuary cities . What a beautiful place to live . Such peaceful people .

    No arrests for social distancing either! That’s the one silver lining. As I mentioned a while back If something unfortunate happens to certain groups who had enough social distance is over

    • This sanctuary Cities are getting more and more liberals. AOC in NYC . The NYS Senate first time in 50 years. They have total control and do as they wish from Yeshivah Education or Bris etc. We have to choices. LOVE it or LEAVE it. Antagonizing them with Outdoor Minyanim etc only will make it worse. Join them, leave them or wait a few 100 Years and hope they will become Republican Conservatives. (Be carefull what you wish for, there isnt a frumme community in a Republican Stronghold for a reason)

      • Filthy liar. The reason there are fewer frum communities in Republican areas isn’t, as you are implying, because they don’t like Jews. It’s because frum communities tend to be in big cities, and most of those are heavily Democrat. The sensible thing would indeed be to work on getting more Jewish communities established in small-town America, but you’d rather kowtow to our enemies and claim that you’re doing it for our good.

  3. Uber left wing American Jews in power will bring untold misery to identifiable Jews in America.

    How far was that rioting in Brooklyn last night, from that holy of holiest Boro Park, Crown Heights or the very holy of holiest Williamsburg?

  4. These Monday morning quarterbacks don’t remember other incidents, which were far worse than this riot in Minneapolis. In 1992, after the four cops involved in the Rodney King beating, were acquitted by a state jury, there was a massive riot in Los Angeles, and surrounding areas, which lasted for close to a week. Fifty five people lost their lives in that riot. The LA Police Department, which at that time was led by one tough cop, Daryl Gates were ineffective at stopping the rioters and looters. In fact, the cops abandoned areas, and let neighborhoods be destroyed. They even retreated to the the LA Police Headquarters complex, in downtown LA. The California National Guard was also useless, as its initial response or the lack thereof, was even worse than Minneapolis. The California National Guard stayed put in their respective armories, and was not deployed into the streets until days later. The riot was so bad that there were reports of aircraft landing at LAX being shot at, and hence, all flights in and out of LAX were stopped. The point that I’m trying to make is that Mayor Jacob Frey is being unfairly blamed for not being able to contain the riot. I believe that the decision to abandon that police station was the right one. Otherwise, it would have been a situation similar to the Alamo, with massive casualties on both sides. As I stated above, the LA cops abandoned certain areas, and let the rioters riot.

    • Forget about the bystanders , we have to get to the core ROOT of the problem which is all the freakish Democrat leaders ( NON-Leaders would actually be a better description ). They should all be FIRED AND THROWN BEHIND BARS , THE BLASTED FREAKS THAT THEY ARE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. As an aside, Minnesota is the headquarters of Target and a Target store was ransacked.
    Karma is really funny. I am a NYC senior citizen and I have been using Target for years for delivery of items including Charmin and Bounty. Target stopped delivery of these items to NYC. They have it on their website available till you enter a NYC zip code. They state that this is their policy.
    In my opinion they deserve what they get and more.
    Remember this the next time NYC bars Walmart to protect Target.

    • For many weeks, my local Target did not have any toilet paper, period. I saw one poor shopper in Target, who was desperate to find toilet paper. I directed him to our local Walmart, which had plenty of toilet paper. Incidentally, I noticed quite recently that our local Target finally stocked Charmin toilet paper on its shelves. What took those incompetents so long?

    • Pass by the Target Brooklyn Junction store. The line waiting to get in, snakes all the way up to Avenue I. Take a look at who’s waiting in the pouring rain for over an hour just to get in. These are the same Joe Biden voters who are now rioting and looting businesses. How any Yid with even the slightest self-worth, can wait in the same line with these dregs of society is beyond me. It’s time for the incompetent Mayor to allow small businesses to legally open.

      • Its the same yids who refuse the State of Israel because the moshiach didnt come. So enjoy the golus and dont complain. The welfare check is in the mail…You know what I mean.

  6. Its always the libarel non religious jews i heard once from a big gadol that since a the jew has a neshomo he has much more intellect then a gentile just when he doesent use it for serving god crazy bad things can happen here we see it

  7. Born and breed in south bronx in the 50’s
    Learnt a listen quickly giving into bully’s or terrorists only brings on more attacks
    Standing up to them in unison with strength stops them. This isn’t about a thief getting killed. It’s about terrorizing America and allowing this to continue

  8. The Gemorah says that we are m’chuyev to support the Government and Police, because without them people (goyim) would revert to their animal nature swallow each other alive. Have any of these Black Lives Matter supporters read their platform? 1. Release ALL Political prisoners (i.e. all inmates of color). 2. Disband the police (if there’s no police, there’s no crime!) 3. Lower voting age to 16, and allow same day on line registration & voting without requiring “racist ID” requirements. 4. Reparations for all Black People and guaranteed living wages without requiring them to work.

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