The one, single public official in either city that didn’t marinade themselves in shame in the face of the rioting last year was Saint Paul’s top cop Todd Axtell.
Don’t get me wrong – Axtell has been no less DFL-doctrinaire an anti-gunner than any other urban police chief. He knows where his next paycheck is coming from.
But as Jacob Frey went blank in front of the cameras (only to wake up to tear into a Trump tweet, as Lake Street burned west to Nicollet), as Lisa Bender mumbled about public safety being a sign of privilege, and Melvin Carter apparently went into hiding, Axtell had the great common sense to go on TV and send a message to the rioters that had scourged my neighborhood the previous day: “We’re not abandoning any part of Saint Paul” – which, tacitly, also said Yes, public safety is a privilege, one that every %$#@@ one of you taxpayers of every race and orientation pays for with your tax dollar. And the SPPD, which got behind on the count on Thursday the 28th, at least went on to prove it Friday the 29th, meeting the rioters on the Marshall-Lake Bridge and sending them scampering back to easier pickings west of the river.
It was one of precious few times I’ve been happy to live in Saint Paul in recent years.
It sounded a little like riot night in Saint Paul over the past weekend – three separate shootings, including one at a crowded house party, combined with apparently hundreds of street racers dicing up and down the freeways, gave the city that Black Hawk Down kind of vibe.
And I don’t doubt Axtell means it. If nothing else, he’s built up some confidence in some parts of the public, including this mere taxpayer.
But if the SPPD catches them, then what?
They get handed over to a Ramco prosecutors office that is about as tough on crime as Mitra Jalali?
All but the trigger men, maybe, will be back out on the street before the ink is dry on their arrest records. Which are digital.
At least, that’s the sense people get.
If there was ever a time Saint Paul needed to be something other than a one-party desert, this is it.
The DFLin the metro likes to chant “We OWN This Town” after they win lopsided and at least partly fraudulent elections.
Yep, DFL. You do. And like a trust fund baby with a car you didn’t really pay for, wrecking it has no consequences for you. The trust will just get you another. Roseville. Maybe Rochester.
Good luck, Chief.