In a now-deleted post, two Instagram accounts posted a joint invitation to a Minneapolis street-racing event that instructed attendees to “block the intersection” and not get caught by the police.
The invitation was posted by the accounts @kingofthelots and @mnsideshow, whose feeds exclusively feature street-racing clips. Street racing is mostly found in major cities and involves burnouts, stunts, and cheering crowds. They often take place in the middle of intersections, though they can and do occur in private parking lots as well.
The event in question, called the “Season Opener,” was scheduled to take place at 2601 49th Avenue in north Minneapolis on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. The invitation told people to “roll in” at any point between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. It also listed five rules for all attendees:
“Drive safe. Block the intersection. No DWI [driving while intoxicated]. No violence. Don’t get caught.”
The joint post has been removed from Instagram, but the reason for its deletion is unclear.
The “Season Opener” event was likely the one visited by the Minneapolis police late Friday night into early Saturday morning. Although police appeared to have jotted down some license plate numbers, they failed to control the crowd of hotrodders, many of whom jeered at the officers instead of dispersing.
Photojournalist Rebecca Brannon tracked the groups of street racers on both Friday and Saturday night to locations throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, Brooklyn Center, St. Paul Park, and Eagan.
Illegal street racers takeover an intersection off Broadway in St. Paul Park for nearly 30 minutes.
Washington Co. Sheriff's office ran off the 'hotrodders' to the cheers from patrons of a corner bar.
At :14 you can even see two individuals point me out. I had to move quickly. pic.twitter.com/3jaAmdzlgH
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) April 3, 2022
Most if not all “street races” endanger attendees, damage property, and loudly disturb those who live nearby. Some even lead to the firing of guns, injuries, or deaths. Crime Watch Minnesota reported that “only a handful of citations were reported to have been issued” after previous “crackdowns” on street racing.
As with many Twin Cities crime issues, however, much of the lack of enforcement stems from chronic understaffing of the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments. Ramsey County Deputy Patrick Scott said late in 2021 that efficiently retaking an intersection of street racers would require “every officer in the city.”