MPD: 16 arrested for shooting fireworks at people on Fourth of July
Authorities say more than a dozen people were arrested late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning after fireworks were shot at pedestrians, cars and police.
During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said a total of 16 people — 11 juveniles and five adults — were arrested for “so brazenly and recklessly” discharging fireworks at people. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported in connection to those incidents.
O’Hara did mention one teen was injured when setting off a firework at Boom Island, but reiterated no one was injured as a result of other individuals discharging fireworks.
Several social media posts showed and described people shooting fireworks at people and police Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.
To that point, Minneapolis police had said the holiday weekend was relatively quiet after last year’s chaos, and O’Hara told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Tuesday that officers “will be on the lookout for those using fireworks in ways that endangers lives or property.”
This year, city leaders closed the Stone Arch Bridge nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. over the weekend, citing last year’s incidents.
Despite the overnight mayhem, O’Hara said he was happy with his department’s planning and response to everything, saying, “This year, we kept these groups on the run throughout the night” compared to being “overwhelmed and overrun” last year.
“It’s challenging for us because we wind up having so many people that just want to stand around and watch, and that adds to and almost encourages the behavior,” O’Hara added.
The chief still denounced several instances of what he called “egregious” and “dangerous” behavior over the Fourth of July and said he the night was not a success but was progress over last year.
O’Hara also heralded the work of a police officer who was inside a squad as it got fired upon by people with fireworks, commending the officer for his professionalism in waiting for the fireworks to stop and then pursuing the person responsible and taking the individual into custody.
“I mostly heard it, a lot of popping sounds and firework sounds,” Majorie Newsome, who lives near Bde Maka Ska, said.
Newsome said Tuesday night, West 35th Street turned into a sea of flashing lights and loud noises that kept her awake.
“They were setting off fireworks, which is right outside my window and at one point there was like a loud flashing sound closer to my house,” she said.
Gloria, an Uptown resident, lives right off 27th and Grand Avenue South. She said late Tuesday night, she saw a group of juveniles firing fireworks in every direction while other people were walking by.
“It was scary. I wouldn’t want to be outside,” she said. “I saw people that must have been walking from the park and they were trying to run across the street so they wouldn’t get hit.”