City Council committee starts steps towards new public safety plan

Eric Chaloux
Updated: October 23, 2020 05:49 PM
Created: October 23, 2020 05:10 PM

The Minneapolis City Council’s Committee asked staff to begin working towards a new public safety plan focused on addressing the gun violence in the city.

In 2020, there have been 450 gunshot victims in the city compared to 269 victims in 2019, and 244 victims in 2018, according to the Minneapolis DataSource.

“Even though you are causing harm, we as your community we still love you, we still care about you,” said Phillipe Cunningham, Minneapolis City Council member to those behind the violence during Thurday’s committee meeting. "You can make a different choice but if you still chose to not put the guns down. We will stop you, either way the violence in this city must stop."

Cunningham is the chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee that approved city staff in the North Minneapolis Promise Zone neighborhoods to begin working on a possible plan to address the cycle of violence.

To get there, the council wants them to speak with the Office of Violence Prevention, Minneapolis Police Department, Hennepin County agencies, community leaders, and northside street outreach teams to learn more details.

Minneapolis residents express frustration with violence during committee meeting

Information shared at the meeting mentioned the staff could also possibly explore an ‘enhanced group violence intervention’ pilot program around the 4th Police Precinct, an area that has seen the most gunshot victims this year.

Group violence intervention brings together law enforcement, social services and the community to send a message to the community that violence is unacceptable, according to a description on the city's website.

"This is a data-driven evidence way for us to make that happen. I know that I speak for so many in our city who when I say my soul can't take another child murdered from this senseless violence," Cunningham said.

"I’m exhausted, the only reason I feel hopeless I what I know needs to be done and who needs to be out here doing it," said longtime community activist Lisa Clemons, founder of  ‘A Mothers Love Initiative.’

Clemons is unclear what could come from the possible plan in the works.

Instead, Clemons would like to see the Council focus on putting more resources towards police and community groups as ways to help tackle the violence.

"We continue to watch people get shot and people get killed, I don't have that patience anymore," Clemons said.

The council committee expects a report from staff with specific action items by Wednesday, which is the next step in the process.

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