One Year after Riots, Twin Cities Marked by Lawlessness, Racial Division

Protesters gather around after setting fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., May 28, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Minneapolis — Speaking in La Crosse, Wis., before the Fourth of July holiday in 2015, Barack Obama directed the crowd’s attention a few miles west, across the Mississippi River.

Minnesota, the then-president noted, was proof of what blue state politics could achieve. The state’s Democratic leaders had increased taxes on the wealthy, raised the minimum wage, and pumped taxpayer money into all-day kindergarten and financial aid for college. And the state’s unemployment rate was still lower than Republican-led Wisconsin’s, and its median income was higher. Minnesota seemingly had cracked the code.

Just six years earlier, Forbes named Minneapolis the nation’s safest city. In

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Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


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