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Jul
2021
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Video showing shots being fired during vehicle sideshow sparks safety concerns in Uptown

Video posted online shows someone firing a gun as a driver does doughnuts at Hennepin and Lagoon in Uptown. (FOX 9)

Concerns over safety in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood are growing louder after a video from overnight shows people firing weapons during a car sideshow.

The video posted to Facebook shows a vehicle doing doughnuts at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lagoon Avenue, not far from the parking ramp where Winston Smith was killed.

The area has been the site of ongoing protests since Smith’s shooting along with the death of protester Deona Marie Erickson. Thursday, Minneapolis police say they are looking for suspects as a lot of people asking what can be done to make it stop.

Vehicle sideshows and street racing have been a growing problem in the city but, in addition to that, overnight it was raining bullets as some of those involved fired guns while spinning doughnuts at the intersection of Lagoon and Hennepin avenues in Uptown.

“We have had homicides occur because of reckless discharge of firearms at these particular types of events,” said Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder. “It is an extremely dangerous situation and a severe threat to public safety.”

Uptown has seen crime on the rise since Winston Smith was killed by members of a U.S. Marshals Task Force. Wednesday night was no exception as, according to police, the problems started hours before the street race and they’re the same crime they’re seeing week after week.

Those holding space at the Wince Marie Peace Garden did not want to go on camera but did say they don’t tell anyone how to protest — whether that’s gunfire, street racing, or setting fires. They did say those involved in Wednesday night’s incident are in support of the protests.

Mayor Jacob Frey says there have been over 100 arrests since the Uptown unrest began. He also says if the Minneapolis Police Department was staffed appropriately, there would be a presence that could help prevent the problems. In the meantime, he’s looking to partner with other jurisdictions.

“Are there elements of safety beyond policing, of course there are,” said Mayor Frey. “But you also need police. You need the police to be able to arrest the perpetrators of some of these crimes. And you need to make sure that those same individuals don’t get back out to continue doing the same thing that they’ve been doing.”

Councilmember Lisa Bender, who represents the Uptown area, said in a statement: “The drag racing incident in Uptown is and unfortunate example of this problem which has increased in the Twin Cities. MPD is responding to these incidents and has been setting up road barriers on weekends as a deterrent. Specific questions should be directed to the mayor’s office as the mayor has