Two campaign staffers for the Republican congressional candidate running against Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar were shot in Minneapolis on Monday, one of them fatally.
Andre Conley, 17 Year Old Republican volunteer for Lacy Johnson (who’s running against Ilhan Omar) was shot and killed in Minneapolis.https://t.co/jYPYeZYuel
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) September 17, 2020
A teenager and another individual who worked on Republican Lacy Johnson’s campaign were both shot outside of a gas station on Minneapolis’ north side. Andre Conley, a 17-year-old outreach coordinator for Johnson’s campaign, was killed in the attack. The other outreach coordinator was taken to the hospital in serious condition and is expected to survive.
Minneapolis has seen homicides spike 87 per cent in the wake of the George Floyd riots and the city council’s efforts to “dismantle the police.”
The staffers were not performing campaign duties at the time of the incident, the Johnson campaign said. According to police, one or more assailants opened fire on a group of people standing in front of the gas station and then fled on foot.
17 year old killed in drive by shooting in Minneapolis was a member of Republican Lacy Johnson Campaign who’s running against Ilhan Omar pic.twitter.com/7kPpd35Xj4
— Dowop Robinson (@dowop_robinson) September 17, 2020
Police took a suspect into custody Thursday morning following a high-speed pursuit, the Daily Mail reported.
Just before 7am on Thursday, police attempted to pull over a suspect wanted in Conley’s killing, reported KARE11.
A police spokesperson said that the man fled, leading officers on a high-speed chase that led down Interstate 394 westbound to northbound Highway 169.
The suspect was eventually apprehended after crashing his car in Plymouth.
“It is shocking and unnecessary acts of violence like this that prove why change is needed now more than ever in our community,” Johnson said. “The shooting did not occur during a campaign or outreach and we do not believe it has any connection to their work for the campaign.”
Authorities say there is nothing to suggest the attack was motivated by politics.
The fatal shooting, however, comes just two months after the Minneapolis City Council voted to defund the police.
Now, council members are griping about the predictable surge of crime in the city.
During a business meeting on Tuesday, members of the Council questioned police Chief Medaria Arradondo about the increase in crime, including daylight car jackings, robberies, assaults, shootings and street racing.
“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police'” Council Member Jamal Osman complained, adding that calls to the Minneapolis Police Department from constituents have gone unanswered.
Crime data from the Minneapolis Police Department shows homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, theft from motor vehicles and arson were all up in the city so far in 2020, when compared with 2019 up until September 15.
Violent crime, including domestic aggravated assault, was up almost 15 per cent in the first nine months of the year, while property crime was up almost eight per cent in the same time period.
Of all the crimes that have increased, homicide saw the largest spike of 87 per cent, rising from 30 in 2019 to 56 in 2020, while incidents of arson have increased by 82 per cent over the total at this point in 2019.
Robbery rose from 931 to 1,275 (37 percent) while incidents of aggravated assault increased from 1,750 in 2019 to 2,100 this year (20 percent). Meanwhile, rape fell by 22 percent, and domestic aggravated assault fell by 8.4 percent.
In terms of property crimes, burglary rose from 2,223 to 2,785 (25 percent), thefts from motor vehicles rose from 3,127 to 3,937 (26 percent), and auto theft rose from 1,982 to 2,766 (40 percent), while larceny fell by almost 10 percent.
President of the Council Lisa Bender reportedly accused the police of purposefully not enforcing the law or making arrests.
‘This is not new,’ Bender said. “But it is very concerning in the current context.”
Johnson on Thursday ripped the lawmakers for being such brazen hypocrites.
“The hypocrisy and failure that we’re seeing from this City Council is astounding and deeply troubling,” Johnson said on Fox News.
The Republican pointed out that the council had been calling for the ‘dismantling or demilitarizing or the disarming of police’ all summer long.
‘Now they’re turning around and blaming these brave officers for a situation that they have created,’ Johnson declared.
Minneapolis City Council blames police for crime surge
Minneapolis City Council demands answers from police as crime rises; Minnesota congressional candidate Lacy Lee Johnson weighs in on ‘Fox & Friends.’ https://t.co/Wfu1Iz1SYX
— William B. (@willbarrett_1) September 17, 2020
The Minneapolis City Council in June approved an amendment to remove $1.1 million from the police department’s budget as part of its multi-step plan to dismantle the MPD. That money was to be allocated toward the health department in order to hire “violence interrupters.”
Unfortunately, there were no “violence interrupters” near that North Minneapolis gas station to keep young Andre Conley safe.