‘I know my neighbors are around, but I’m not feeling grounded in my city at all. Anything could happen…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Minneapolis neighborhood decided to “check its privilege” after the death of George Floyd and and vowed not to call or rely on law enforcement again.
Now, the neighborhood has become a haven for crime and homelessness.
Residents in Powderhorn Park vowed to become the “transformative new model” of public safety and stop calling the police so as not to “endanger” their black neighbors and friends.
Since then, hundreds of homeless residents have taken over the neighborhood, and crime is running rampant, according to the New York Times.
Drug dealers regularly deal in the neighborhood, and at least one person has overdosed in its park. Prostitution has also been reported in the area.
One resident, Shari Albers, said she has trouble sleeping at night. Another resident, Linnea Borden, said she has stopped walking her dog through the area because she’s sick of being catcalled. And Carrie Nightshade, who also lives in the neighborhood, stopped letting her kids play in the park because of how dangerous it has become.
“I am afraid,” Albers said. “I know my neighbors are around, but I’m not feeling grounded in my city at all. Anything could happen.”
A few of the residents have had to break their pledge and call the police. Joseph Menkevich said he had to call 911 because he found a black man passed out in the elevator of his apartment building.
He tried to call a community activist, but she didn’t answer. So he called 911 instead, which he claims made the situation worse.
“It didn’t resolve in a way that I had hoped,” he said. “All they did was offer to bring him back to the hospital. He refused, so they kicked him out on a rainy night.”
Another resident, Mitchell Erickson, called the police after being cornered outside his home by two black teenagers. One stuck a gun to Erickson’s chest and demanded his car keys.
Eventually the two teenagers ran off, at which point Erickson decided to call the police. He now “regrets” doing so.
“Been thinking more about it,” Erickson said. “I regret calling the police. It was my instinct but I wish it hadn’t been. I put those boys in danger of death by calling the cops.”
When he was reminded that the two teenagers had put his life in danger, Erickson responded: “Yeah I know and yeah it was scary but the cops didn’t really have much to add after I called them. I haven’t been forced to think like this before. So I would have lost my car. So what? At least no one would have been killed.”