Surveillance videos of brutal robberies in downtown Minneapolis are circulating the internet — and reviving debate about the need for more cops in the city.
The videos surfaced on LiveLeak and YouTube last week, with the most viewed one showing a large group of young people attacking and beating a victim near Target Field (WARNING: Footage is extremely violent):
At one point in the footage, one of the assailants rides a bike over the victim's chest.
The video has picked up over 116,000 views on LikeLeak, and over 43,000 on YouTube; meanwhile, the story surrounding this and other similar downtown robberies has been picked up by international press.
That includes the Daily Mail in the UK, whose article has another video showing an attack that takes place near some light rail tracks. The victim in this one is left unconscious by the assault:
As this KARE 11 piece attests, the footage has renewed debate in a recent push by Mayor Jacob Frey to add more officers to the city's police force.
The station says Frey sees the videos as a "window into the need to hire more officers," with the mayor saying more cops on the beat could prevent "some of these serious crimes before they take place to begin with."
Last month, Frey and Chief Medaria Arradondo proposed more police hires, with the chief calling for an extra 400 sworn police officers by 2025 to keep up with a rising population.
Frey wants 14 new cops hired over the next year, but both proposals have met with pushback from the City Council as well as members of the black community, some of whom delayed Frey's budget address last month by chanting "Jamar Clark" and demanding the city "fund our communities, not cops":
As City Pages reports, the City Council has drawn vocal criticism from Minneapolis business owners, who say that "suburban residents are becoming too afraid to visit, and bargoers are bailing early to avoid becoming marks."
Nonetheless, FOX 9 reports that police made 16 arrests in a recent sweep for the robbery suspects, with one of the arrestees being "as young as 13."