Minnesota congressional delegates, hopefuls tour damage from civil unrest in Twin Cities

Minnesota politicians on Saturday toured some of the places in the Twin Cities that were hit the hardest during the week of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd.

Republican Congressman Jim Hagedorn and three GOP congressional candidates visited the destruction near the Minneapolis Police Department’s 3rd Precinct, which was burned amid the protests.

For one of the candidates, the destruction hit home.

"So the response to what happened wasn’t to be destructive and destroy everything," said Lacy Johnson, who’s running to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar in the 5th Congressional District. "The response was to keep cool heads, work very hard like we’re doing to make sure we find justice in the system and find someone like Keith Ellison that we trust in doing the prosecution. But this destruction is uncalled for."

Johnson also said the theme should be "rebuilding" — not just for businesses, but for schools, churches and the community.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Tin Smith, a Democrat, toured a stretch of small businesses in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood that also fell victim to arson and looting.

She said lawmakers at all levels of government are working to secure micro loans for the affected small businesses.

Smith said some of these businesses face additional challenges.

"I’m also hearing that there’s a long-standing, historic shortage of access to capital for businesses — especially businesses owned by black and brown people," she said. "And that’s part of the historic systemic challenges that we have that we have to overcome."