2 plead not guilty in connection to downtown Minneapolis robberies

Updated: October 16, 2019 05:28 PM

Two people involved in a crime ring that focused on robbing intoxicated people of their cellphones and then beating the victims in downtown Minneapolis pleaded not guilty Wednesday.


Court records show that Jamar Shamar Robinson, 20, pleaded not guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree riot, and Demar Avery Jackson, 19, pleaded not guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery.

The charges stem from a string of robberies near Hennepin, First and Second avenues, between Third and Sixth streets. A total of 18 people between the ages of 15 and 27 have been charged with various counts of robbery in connection to the incidents, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said last month.

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The suspects were mostly boys and men, with a female sometimes present. They would "finesse" the victim — looking for an easy target, such as someone who was intoxicated and alone, looking at their cellphone at times, according to police.

One of the incidents happened on Aug. 3 near Target Field. According to the criminal complaint, the footage shows approximately 12 males attempting to take a cellphone from a male victim, viciously beating him. The suspects are seen ripping the vicitim's shoes and pants off and then going through his pockets. The victim is noted to be punched and kicked in the head several times throughout the altercation. At one point, the complaint states the victim is thrown to the ground — left motionless — then repeatedly jumped on, hit with planting pots and ridden over with a bicycle. Once police arrived, the victim and all suspects involved are gone.

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