Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Since the first of the year, there has been a 34 percent increase in aggravated assaults in Minneapolis"

"The numbers don't bode well for city leaders ... as they try to woo national democrats who will choose where the 2008 Democratic National Convention will be held. Delegates from the national committee arrived in Minneapolis on Sunday."

Kare 11 News provides a stunning report on the explosion of violence in Minneapolis this year, complete with previously unpublished details on the cluster of shootings Monday night: "Aggravated assaults in Minneapolis continue rising rapidly".

Three shootings in just over three hours in Minneapolis is perhaps the best illustration of the upward trend of aggravated assaults.

Since the first of the year, there has been a 34 percent increase in aggravated assaults in Minneapolis. More than 1,100 so far this year compared to about 800 this time last year. The sharp increase has meant much more gunfire said Lieutenant Greg Reinhardt, "This is becoming all too common."

At about 11:30 p.m. Monday, a 30-year-old woman pulled up in front of her house and her car was showered with gunfire. It happened in the 4500 block of Stevens Avenue South just off Interstate-35. The woman suffered two gunshot wounds to the chest. Despite that, police don't think her wounds are life threatening.

Douglas House lives near where the shooting took place, "I heard about four or five shots in rapid succession and I dove for the phone and called 911."

He called those who opened fire, "idiots". He said many people put very little value on life.
There's more:

Two hours after that shooting, another one, this time in the Warehouse District of downtown.

A 22-year old woman walking with friends was shot and wounded. In this case police believe the group knew the shooter. Earlier in the night police say a dispute among some in the group may have escalated to the shooting at about 2 a.m. Again the victim's injuries aren't believed life threatening.

The third shooting came a short time later on the city's violence plagued north side. There, a 24-year-old man was shot in a hail of gunfire. "The original shooting was in an area where we recently had a murder, in fact we've had a number of shootings and shots fired calls," said Lieutenant Reinhardt.

The victim of that shooting is also expected to survive.
Scott Brooks (aka Diamond Dog) of Freedom Dogs sent me this report that he will publish shortly:

Well, you've read about it at Rambix and Redstar. You've seen it on the 10 o'clock news. Now here's the Freedom Dogs report.

There was a shooting in a parking lot downtown Minneapolis last night. It just so happens it was in the parking lot where I work during the day at 3th Street and First Avenue, North. At 3 o'clock in the morning a woman was shot in the leg in this lot and taken to the hospital where she is expected to recover.

I spoke with a neighborhood landlord who had some interesting perspective;

"I got a call from my tenant at 3:30 this morning that there was gunfire out here. It was two black women. A lot of people don't know that these shootings are not between young men, but young women. It's a proprietary thing. They don't want any other women infringing on their turf. These shots were between two women.

Over across the street, there's a bullet hole in the plate glass window. That's what bad shots they are."

This landlord told me that his best guess is that these women had just come from an evening spent at The Spirell Bar on the corner of 2nd Avenue, North and 4th Street. It's a space that for years used to be a restaurant called Che' Banana.

I checked out the bullet hole across the street. If someone had been going through a door in the space inside that window, the bullet could have crashes through his head or his heart, killing him. And if the bullet had been fired just a bit lower, it might have killed a motorist driving along 4th Street, North.

-Diamond Dog (formerly known as pinkmonkeybird)
It may be time for extraordinary measures, i.e. zero tolerance for any criminal behavior, special courts with serious judges for fast-track trials and meaningful sentences, expelling criminals from our state, etc. Let's be creative, because Mayor Rybak's safety initiative clearly isn't working and the general public is at risk.

Let's dispense with band-aid solutions and get the violent thugs out of our state, out of our country, or in prison for a long, long time.