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No arrest made in half of Minneapolis killings, Washington Post study finds

The Post's wide-ranging investigation looks at unsolved homicides across the U.S.
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More than half of Minneapolis homicides over a 10 year period didn't lead to an arrest.

That's according to a wide-ranging data investigation by the Washington Post, which looked at how many murders in every major U.S. city resulted in an arrest.

The average across the cities was 51 percent without an arrest – which is exactly what the rate was in Minneapolis for murders between 2007 and 2016.

Of the 366 homicides reported in the city during that period, 180 of them (49 percent) resulted in an arrest.

There are racial disparities among the results, with more than 60 percent of homicides involving white victims resulting in arrests, while the rate is less than 50 percent for black homicides.

The data project identifies where the most unsolved murders were during that period, highlighting the Near North neighborhood around Golden Valley Road as having the highest proportions of homicide without arrest.

The orange areas are places where fewer than 1 in 3 homicides resulted in an arrest – the blue zones show where more than 2 in 3 homicides saw an arrest made.

But the figures doesn't tell the full story

The 51 percent no arrest figure doesn't tell the full story of why no arrest was made.

For example, the "unsolved" killings includes the victims of the Accent Signage mass shooting in Bryn Mawr in September 2012, when 5 people were killed by disgruntled employee Andrew Engeldinger.

There could be no arrest in that case because the gunman killed himself following the massacre, before he could be arrested.

Also listed as unsolved are killings that happen where a domestic abuser is killed by the abused, in which the killer is known but may not necessarily be prosecuted.

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The fatal stabbing in 2011 of Devric Hughes in Near North is on the "unsolved" list. In that case, the woman initially taken into custody had knocked on a neighbor's door saying: "He's over here beating on me, and I stabbed him," according to reports at the time.

What can also have an impact is the high-threshold of proof required to bring a murder charge against a suspect.

That's something Minneapolis police pointed out when quizzed by KARE 11, saying in some of the no-arrest cases, they do know who carried out the killing.

"We may have information that we believe who the person is who committed the crime, but we can't get a cooperating witness or testimony from a witness," Jason Case, commander of the violent crimes division, told the TV station.

Nonetheless there remains a significant number of unsolved murders across the city, with families denied the justice for their lost loved ones.

Among those highlighted in the study includes the cases of 29-year-old Phelandis Jackson, killed in a drive-by shooting outside the Red Dragon restaurant in Lowry Hill East in 2010, and the fatal stabbing of 46-year-old woman Nanette Haghi – a longtime prostitute – on East Franklin Avenue in 2014.

You can find each unsolved (and solved) homicide in Minneapolis between 2007 to 2016 on this Washington Post map.

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