June report, Part 2

STATE OF THE PRECINCT
Violent Crime: In the period, May 19 through June 17, the Second Precinct reported 69 violent crimes, total.   The breakdown was 4 rapes, 27 robberies, 38 aggravated assaults, 13 aggravated domestic assaults.    That number was more than twice the total for the same period in 2020, but still only 12.32% of the city-wide total.
Property Crime:   In the period, May 19 through June 17, the Second Precinct reported 275 property crimes, total.   The breakdown was 37 burglaries, 181 larcenies,  81 theft from motor vehicles, 57 auto theft.

Incidents are concentrated in Marcy Holmes east of 35W from Dinkytown through Stadium Village, and in NE Minneapolis along NE 8th Avenue, the Lowry central corridor, and along Central Avenue NE.
CPS Nicholas Juarez gave us a rundown:
A primary driver is still auto theft and the targeted drivers are DoorDash, Ubers and delivery service drivers who leave their keys in the cars or leave their cars running as they do a pickup or delivery.
Catalytic converter theft is another driver in the Second Precinct, but researchers, looking at crime trends, are seeing this is likely a much bigger thing than just the local scrap yards taking those in.   Looking at the national trends, Minnesota is #3 in the nation reporting catalytic converter theft. 

Local concerns:   we had shots fired in front of Nye’s.  That is still an active investigation (6/14).   Dinkytown had a couple of robberies and there have been some arrests, including juveniles and people in their mid-twenties.    We’ve had some arrests of an organized  group that was stealing cell phones from students in the Dinkytown area.   Inspector Loining authorized overtime in that area, including more squads on the street at the time when most of these incidents have happened.   These thefts were happening in the middle of the day when Dinkytown bars were closed.   They are now falling   back into “normal” patterns, with more occurring during closing times, between 10 PM and 1 AM.  

Street racers continue to be a big concern.   The news has carried stories of some deaths due to street racing.   This activity has occasionally popped up in the Dinkytown area.  Sargeants in that area are working on plans to disrupt the racers, diverting traffic from that area and other ways to stall the racers.   It is a dangerous activity:   you may have seen videos of racers downtown, doing doughnuts in the street, just for one example.   The city is working with the contractors to put construction fences around key sites, like the McDonald’s parking lot.  (The fences were planned, but the timetable has been moved up.)   Other parking lots in Marcy Holmes are patrolled very well by 20 companies, working with property owners.
QQ: A resident has been reporting speeding in the area between Lowry and 37th.  

AA:   We’re using the same procedure up there that we used when speeders were coming off the Hennepin Avenue bridge — putting a squad up there to slow the traffic and deal with those who don’t take the hint.   Lowry has been under  discussion for a long time.   It may be a shared road, but it’s also been slated for redevelopment, which would include traffic calming.  Nick pointed out he’s been here 13 years, and it’s been a “redevelopment target” all of that time.  In the meantime, the MPD works on traffic control, putting out squads at the time when the most speeders are reported to us.
[Dan Miller, a concerned NE neighbor reported that the redesign for Lowry is being worked on right now.   Reconstruction of  Lowry (Washington to Johnson) is scheduled for 2023.   Thank you, Dan!] 

QQ: Looking at people picked up for crime, it’s common that they already have previous felonies.    Is that common? 

AA: Yes.   If we stop someone and do a warrants check, there is a possibility that this person has outstanding court warrants.   For people in the Marcy Holmes area, there are people out there we’ve arrested over and over again.   A lot of people we pick up for auto theft or cell phone theft are repeat offenders.
QQ: A story in the Star Tribune was about “straw gun buyers”– people who buy many guns for resale to people who can’t buy for themselves:   [full story at https://www.startribune.com/straw-buyers-help-criminals-get-guns/600070088/]   Does that have any impact in the Second Precinct?
AA: Not really.   Most of the guns we recover are stolen.    There are local groups, and some much larger groups that deal these stolen guns.   The guns we recover have numbers ground off.   The straw gun buyers are buying from gun shows and licensed dealers, the same place you and I can buy.  They can do that because they do not have a felony on their records.   

The guns we see are stolen: one person on Nicollet Island had three shotguns stolen from her car; believe it or not, we see that quite a bit.  People leave their guns in the glove box or in a lock box in the trunk.   If a stolen gun is reported to the police, the serial number is entered in  a database, so if someone tries to pawn it, the number will come up on the Automated Pawn System .    But pawn shops are no longer the place to go.   You can sell or buy almost anything on Craig’s List.   People report they’ve spotted their bike on Craig’s List or Facebook Marketplace.  

A note from the Chat list: CPS Rashid Ali did a home security review.  He offered excellent recommendations and reminded the homeowner that security grant money is available.   Another neighbor suggested checking with your Neighborhood Association to see if they have the Home Security Grants.

COURTWATCH  Mpls Attorney Okronkwo and P.O. Holly Ihrke reporting.
Probation Officer Ihrke announced that Courtwatch will no longer track and report on specific people unless that report is requested by an attender.  

P.O. Ihrke reported that last month, the two neighborhoods that had the most arrests were Marcy Holmes and Holland.  The folks that are showing up on current reports have significant mental health issues.  They are actively being supervised by social workers and/or probation officers.    There is no one on her list that presents an active public safety issue. 

Atty Okronkwo received a summary  of court cases.   One person we’ve been following for a long time had his competency hearing and was found incompetent to stand trial.   This was not a surprise to any of the attorneys.    In consequence, his 15 misdemeanors and one assault charge were dismissed. He has a court date in six months.  The City has filed a “Notice of Intent to Prosecute” which means that any gross demeanor committed in the city or county will get a flag.     He had been held on a “Pre-petition screening” but the county has declined to issue a commitment on him.   If his behavior seems to be becoming more aggressive, we encourage people to call the police.   He is known in Dinkytown.   Videos from resident places have shown him smoking in a No Smoking area and engaged in other activities.   If there is documentation that he’s become more of a threat to himself or to others, that will raise the issue. 

QQ: We’ve been following this person and others for a long time.   Do people with mental health issues or substance abuse disorders ever “return to competency?

AA: That’s a really good question.   With these gap cases, it looks like nothing’s happening. 

P.O. Ihrke   For people with drug disorders or psychoses, there’s not a place for them to live if they are not willing to be sober and receive treatment.   When someone is found incompetent, they are assigned a social worker.   That person can find them resources, check up on them and so on.   But if they’re not at a level of being put in permanent placement, and they’re just “walking the line”, the social worker doesn’t have the power to do much.    When the criminal justice system is involved, there’s a little more we can do when people relapse. 

During the pandemic, “Harm reduction” has been more of a goal. [It was pointed out at a  2-PAC meeting on Covid response in the Justice system,  that crowding  people into the workhouse or HCJ had to be avoided to slow the spread of Covid-19]   Pre-Covid, if someone had failed treatment three times, they were taken to the workhouse and could try treatment there.   She emphasized that if someone is concerned for the person’s safety or their own safety, the public is asked to continue to call and report.  If you are concerned about someone on probation, you can call Hennepin County and ask.   Your call will be directed to their probation officer.   You can also contact  her  [Holly.Ihrke@hennepin.us 612-348-4189] and she’ll direct your call. 

QQ: How does the Rule of 20 fit in? 

AA:  If a person is committed, a social worker is assigned to the client.  They are part of the FACT program (Forensic Assertive Community Treatment program) which is for adults with mental health issues, who are in the criminal justice system.   

QQ: Between “Harm Reduction” and the County Workhouse, what placements are available for people with mental health needs. 

AA: A caretaker has to decipher if an episode is drug induced or if it is a clinical or medical issue.   If it’s chemical induced, the client can go to mental health chemical dependency treatment.  If it’s a physiological imbalance, they can get a social worker to do an assessment, and get into a housing program with the help of IRTS Housing.  [Intensive Residential Treatment Services –  see: https://www.peopleincorporated.org/  and click on the “services” tab] 


QQ: I was thinking about people who are not in a treatment plan, who are out in the community and you know they are not compliant with their treatment.  Does the community have to wait until something very serious happens?
AA: It depends on what part of the system they are  in.   If they’re on probation, their Probation Officer can file violations and revoke their probation.   If they are just in the Health and Human Services round, the social workers can make their reports but don’t actually have as much power.   It comes down to that person’s social network; a lot of these people don’t have that.   Inspector Loining in the Second Precinct tries to get a lot of community service people involved,  especially with the encampments that are popping up.  He’s trying to NOT take the law enforcement approach, but to get other help [social services and others] involved first.
Atty Okronkwo added that the “gap cases” are difficult.  He doesn’t feel the criminal system is always the best way to handle the gap cases.  Seeing an officer approach can further escalate a situation. That is not an excuse for behavior, merely a statement of what happens.
From the Chat:  There was just an announcement about a person on Central Avenue, carrying a kitten, yelling and  firing shots into the air.   CPS Juarez checked his online announcement and reported that the man was talked into putting the weapon down.  The animal was put into care at Minneapolis Animal Control.   It turns out that this person is known to the officers at the Second Precinct, and they’re aware he has some mental health issues.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD 2nd Precinct Advisory Council

e-quas@tc.umn.edu

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