MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A community in Minneapolis is looking for answers tonight after the murder of another person, and young people want to sit down at the table to discuss solutions.
Police were called to the scene on Aldrich Avenue on Friday evening after reports of gunfire. They found a shot dead man outside a house who was taken to hospital and later died. On Saturday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo turned to the community to help end the violence.
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“The truth is that too many people are dying in our city,” Arradondo said.
The police chief spoke to a group of young people to give them their opinions on community violence, public safety and police reform.
“I’m terrified of what’s going on in our city because I see a conversation about public safety, yet I don’t see enough of our faces in this conversation,” said the Youth Working Group co-chair, Al Flowers Jr.
Flowers Jr. led the charge by getting his peers, ages 13 to 28, to speak out about what is not happening in their community. The greatest concern of Task Force members is that their voices are not being heard.
“We want to be able to come up with solutions and preventative measures so that we can help be part of the solution, so that we can help change the narrative of what’s going on in this city,” said Flowers Jr.
The Youth Working Group is a branch of the Unity in Community community mediation team which relaunched a memorandum of understanding signed in 2003. The agreement covers officer liability, complaints and discipline process, redress. to the strength and diversification of the workforce.
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Their group said they wanted to see more participation, mentorship from elders and help in establishing a community center where young people can go instead of going out on the streets.
“We have to get to the root of the problem to find out why as I stand in front of you in Shiloh [Temple] and we have a crime stop reward of $ 180,000 for three babies and we don’t have anyone in custody, ”Arradondo said.
The Chief of Police believes the community should work with the police to address issues that directly affect everyone.
“85% of the victims of gunshot violence look like us, and 85% of the people who commit these crimes look like us. So we can go on and we have to have the conversation about the responsibility of the police and I have to lead this accusation about it, ”said Arradondo. “But I’m telling you now, the biggest threat to public safety in our city, especially in the African American community, is not someone wearing this uniform.”
The young people said they knew many of the victims and some of the perpetrators, but wanted other young people to help be the change the community needs.
“Talk about police brutality, systematic racism, and if you see crime happening, talk about it. Don’t be afraid to say what happened because we have to catch these people who are committing the crimes, ”said LaZya Smith, 13-year-old task force member.
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Friday night’s shooting was Minneapolis’ 73rd homicide this year.