A north Minneapolis Democrat said his constituents are “facing a real emergency” as the city continues to experience alarming levels of gun violence.
“Every Minnesotan deserves to be safe in their own neighborhood, but right now many people are experiencing gun violence at unsustainable levels,” Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Minneapolis) said in a statement released Saturday. “The neighborhoods I represent in north Minneapolis are facing a real emergency.”
Minneapolis experienced its 31st homicide of 2020 Tuesday night after five shootings in a six-hour span left two dead and four injured.
From Thursday night into Friday morning, another nine people were shot in Minneapolis, killing one and injuring eight others. That brings the total number of homicides up to 32, double the number of homicides Minneapolis had this time last year, The Star Tribune reported. Five of the homicides happened in the first 12 days of July.
The city has recorded 243 shootings so far this year. For comparison, Minneapolis had 269 shootings all of last year. The 243 shootings represent a more than 60 percent increase from the same time frame last year.
The Department of Justice announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force last week in response to the “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crimes.”
“This increase in violence, particularly the shootings, is unacceptable and it must end,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald. “The goal of this Task Force is not to flood our communities with law enforcement, but rather to leverage law enforcement’s collective resources to allow for focused and effective enforcement actions.”
Lee said he is working with his fellow Minneapolis representatives on organizing meetings to “talk about how we move forward.”
“Building off of existing efforts of local leaders, legislators are in communication with city and state officials to identify what resources are needed and how quickly we can provide assistance,” he added. “This crisis cannot be allowed to continue.”
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