Minneapolis residents voice concerns after violent, reckless incidents

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Minneapolis residents are voicing concern on Monday following a weekend of violent crime and reckless behavior.

Police said someone intentionally drove a car into a group of pedestrians near Nicolett Avenue and West Grant Street on Saturday evening, leaving one man hurt. According to Minneapolis Police Department, the incident happened after one woman attacked another woman with a knife in that area.

In a separate incident Saturday night, unknown individuals shot at officers in the 1600 block of Vincent Avenue North in Minneapolis. Police said it happened just after 11:30 p.m. as MPD officers were investigating suspicious activity and chasing a suspect on foot. One officer was treated for an injury.

People who live and work in the city told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are frustrated by the escalating violence.

"I’ve lived in Minnesota probably 20 years now and it’s not something I’ve seen in the past," said Waz Oba, who lives near downtown. "The world’s weird right now. You can’t have that peace of mind."

Greta Hummel, who also lives in the city, added, "Maybe they’re more fearless than they used to be or feel like they can get away with more."

There have been 3,035 violent crimes in Minneapolis so far this year, the highest rate in more than a decade.

Former city council member Don Samuels posted on Facebook that he fell victim to reckless behavior himself this weekend, calling it "a dystopian night in Minneapolis." He said his car and several others along his north Minneapolis block were damaged in a hit-and-run crash early Sunday morning.

"We came home, called the cops. They said, ‘Nobody can come. We’re totally busy,’" Samuels said. "We didn’t see the cops until the next day."

Samuels is among a group of residents that sued the city for not having enough police on the streets. In early July, a judge sided with the residents, ordering Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council to hire more officers by June 2022.

Still, Samuels said hiring more officers will take time, and he’s worried for his neighborhood after multiple violent incidents in recent weeks.

"A neighbor down the street said that 20 bullets came into his home, a couple windows broken. Another neighbor was held up twice by gunpoint and then threatened severely," Samuels said. "They just abandoned their house and lived in a hotel for a couple of weeks. I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never felt the threat of violence so palpable."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked the Minneapolis Police Department about Samuels’ concerns with slow response times this weekend. An MPD spokesperson referenced the incident involving officers being shot at and provided the following statement:

"On Saturday evening, the Minneapolis Police were involved in a critical incident. These types of incidents are exceptionally personnel intensive. As is protocol, incoming calls for service were prioritized and non-emergency calls for service were were placed on hold.

"Squads were sent as they became clear.

"It is impossible to staff each precinct for the worst case scenario every night of the year. Officers worked that evening straight through the night getting to calls as quickly as possible; responding to the higher priority calls first."