Another night of ongoing lawlessness played out in Uptown Minneapolis Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning.
It’s just the latest in a string of discord that has been ongoing for over a month since officers acting on behalf of a federal fugitive task force shot and killed Winston Smith in early June.
During the mayhem, one person was captured on video firing over 30 shots from a gun into the air.
The incident took place about 11:30 p.m. after people and vehicles had overtaken the intersection of Hennepin Avenue South and Lagoon Avenue in Minneapolis for several hours and had blocked regular traffic from traveling through.
Several vehicles, which have been referred to as street racers or “hotrodders” by police, were seen on livestreams spinning and doing burnouts in the intersection while bystanders watched. At one point, a dark colored Chrysler was spinning in the intersection while a passenger was hanging out the window firing a gun into the air. Over 30 shots could be heard, and some people were seen running for cover on some of the livestreams and videos that surfaced later.
The incident followed a prior night of chaos when police and fire personnel spent nearly three hours early Tuesday morning responding to multiple fires that had been set near Stella’s Fish Café. The business was also reportedly broken into, and other businesses had windows broken and damage from paintballs.
The Minnesota State Patrol on Thursday morning said in a Facebook post that they’ve been working with law enforcement agencies around the metro to tackle the dangerous street racing problem.
The State Patrol said that an enforcement operation with Anoka County and Brooklyn Park last Friday resulted in 61 traffic stops. The result was three arrests for DWI, several citations for speeding and equipment violations, six drivers with revoked or suspended licenses and even two vehicle forfeitures.
Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder told WCCO that they’ve made “strong headway” in the case of the shots fired on Wednesday night.
The mayhem went on for several hours on Wednesday night and police weren’t seen responding until after midnight on Thursday morning.
Elder was asked what took police so long to respond. He said it takes time to coordinate and get that kind of response in place to make sure they can enter the situation safely. Elder said that these are criminal acts that have nothing to do with First Amendment rights and mourning the loss of people who have died.
Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the chaos and implied that those engaging in criminal actions may be using and taking advantage of protest situations as cover.
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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.