Protests at homes of Minnesota political leaders increasing, some threatening

Since May, there have been more frequent protests outside the homes of Minnesota political leaders, with the most recent occurring on Oct. 24 at the condominium of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

In photos posted on social media, protesters can be seen climbing the outside staircase to Frey’s home, attempting to hang a banner while Frey’s wife tries to stop them from putting the banner up on the outside wall of their condo.

In recent weeks the homes of Frey, Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, Minneapolis City Council President, Lisa Bender and Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll have all seen protests with some of them threatening.

Former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the protests at local government leaders’ homes are something he’s all too familiar with after experiencing it in 2017.

“I got up one morning and started to take my dog for a walk and I noticed something a bit alarming,” said Stanek. “And, that’s when I saw three bullet holes in the side of my house, which was unnerving for me, my family and my neighbors.”

Stanek said he’s seen an increasing pattern with these types of protests and called them “the new norm,” which could someday lead to something more violent than just threats.

Home of Minneapolis City Council president vandalized

“Right now these home protests are intimidating and there are even some terroristic threats being made,” said Stanek. “So far, no public official has suffered any physical harm, but the more emboldened the protesters get the greater the chance someone will be seriously hurt in the future.”

Minneapolis City Council member Linea Palmisano told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she had her home and property vandalized by protesters during the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.

“I think it goes way beyond peaceful protests and that’s the part I don’t like,” said Palmisano. “I feel that coming and lurking around someone’s yard, defacing their property is about intimidation and bullying and, frankly, it is quite unnerving.”

Palmisano, and Stanek, said they have also found it more difficult to recruit people to run for office now that these protests at the home of government leaders are happening at their homes and private property.