After rumors swirled on social media on Friday, authorities confirmed Saturday that a juvenile had been sexually assaulted at Powderhorn Park overnight Thursday.
Community activist Lisa Clemons was one of the people who posted several times Friday on Facebook about the alleged assault at the park in south Minneapolis, MN. She eventually indicated that she had received confirmation of the assault from various officials prior to the information release by the Minneapolis Park Police, who are in charge of the investigation.
The park is the site of a growing homeless encampment where neighbors have vowed not to call police, even if someone is in physical danger, in an effort to check their “privilege” and not place suspects in danger of being harmed by police, they say.
The people who took the victim to the hospital did not call police, according to one report about the assault. Hospital staff ended up calling the park police to report the incident.
Dawn Sommers, spokesperson for the Park and Recreation Board, was quoted saying that no arrest had been made and that there was little suspect information.
Clemons and other community activists called for Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender to step down following the news of the sexual assault.
“This lady believes it’s a joke to play with people’s lives,” Clemons posted. “You are an embarrassment to the City of Minneapolis and will get people killed while believing it’s a game.”
Bender has been leading the charge to defund the Minneapolis Police Department since before the death of George Floyd while in police custody on Memorial Day. Clemons, founder of “A Mother’s Love,” has been a vocal opponent to that idea.
Clemons said last week that “we need good police on the streets,” and she criticized the council for moving forward with the plan to dismantle the police department without a clear replacement plan in place.
Community activist Reverend Tim Christopher also called for Bender to step down saying that “leadership is needed!!!!.”
I wanted to make sure my contacts conformed the news from Powerhorn Park. With the news of a juvenile being Raped tonight I ask that Lisa Bender step down from her position as Council President, @Jacob_Frey leadership is needed!!!!
— RevTimChristopher (@RevTChristopher) June 27, 2020
A reporter from Alpha News walked through the encampment last week and noted that the people who appeared to be running the encampment insisted that no photos or videos be taken “without authorization.”
There doesn’t seem to be any clear plan in place to move the residents of the encampment out of the park where at least 200 tents have now been set up and the park board has installed portable restrooms, shower facilities, running water and electricity.
Stay with Alpha News for information on this developing story.
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota