Is the Little Mogadishu Really the Epicenter of Crime in Minneapolis? Crime Reports Say Absolutely Not.
I encourage you to visit the comments sections for a variety of articles at Irregular Times regarding Muslim immigrants to America from Somalia (see here, here and here for some examples). In those comments, you can find visitors eager to spread anecdotal claims that crime has somehow run rampant in communities where Somali immigrants have settled. Read the articles above those comments, which make reference to actual crime data, not anecdotes, and you’ll find the opposite is true: crime rates have actually gone down in the American communities where Somali immigrants have settled.
One of those articles, demonstrating that the crime rate in Minneapolis has plunged since Somalis came to live there, has had a few visitors lately. These visitors have left comments insisting that although crime has gone down in Minneapolis overall, crime plagues the particular Minneapolis neighborhood of “Little Mogadishu” (also known as Cedar-Riverside) where Somali immigrants have most densely settled. Minneapolis is the city with the largest Somali immigrant population in the United States, so its Little Mogadishu neighborhood is actually the perfect place to look for this supposed crime spree of Somali immigrants.
You can check out Minneapolis police records of crimes committed in the city, mapped to location, through the RAIDS Online web tool. I encourage you to take a look. It’s a handy tool, allowing you to search not just within the city but to also narrow your scope by time. Here’s a map of Minneapolis, with the Cedar-Riverside “Little Mogadishu” neighborhood identified in purple:
Here is a heat map indicating where the most arrests (red and green) and least arrests (blue) have tended to be clustered so far in the year 2015:
Well, would you look at that: Little Mogadishu is in the blue. That means it is has been relatively low crime area in 2015. Let’s look at results for 2014:
Well, Little Mogadishu is maybe a bit brighter than it was in 2015, but it’s still a relatively low-crime area. How about 2013?
Little Mogadishui, a low-crime area again! How about 2012?
Got the pattern down? Cedar-Riverside (aka “Little Mogadishu” for its high concentration of Somali immigrants) has a relatively low crime rate within Minneapolis. Minneapolis’ crime rates in general have been falling, not rising, since Somali immigrants began settling in the city. All this is the opposite of what you would expect if Somali immigrants really were coming to the United States to wreak havok with a wave of crime.
Bottom line: the immigration of Muslims from Somali to Minneapolis has not produced any visible effect on crime, either in the city overall or in the particular neighborhood where Somali Muslims have most densely settled.