The US Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Erica H. MacDonald, has announced the formation of a Violent Crime Task Force in response to the surge in violent crime being experienced by the Twin Cities.
The announcement made on Wednesday follows a violent stretch of crime and shootings that have plagued the Twin Cities in the wake of the riots that took place after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.
Violent crime in Minneapolis, including homicides, shootings, robberies and violent carjackings, have increased over the same period last year (June 1 – July 9) since the Minneapolis City Council announced its intention to disband the city’s police department in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.
Homicides in Minneapolis have more than doubled over the same period last year, and aggravated assaults are up nearly 20 percent over the same period. At the end of June, at least 120 people had been shot in Minneapolis since Memorial Day.
MacDonald said the “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crime across the Twin Cities” prompted the formation of the Task Force.
“This increase in violence, particularly the shootings, is unacceptable and it must end,” MacDonald said. She said the objective of the Task Force is to help “turn the tide” and tamp down the surge of violent crime. “We need law enforcement, city leaders and community members all working together toward the common goal of bringing an end to this violence.”
The Task Force operates from a multi-agency command center and is comprised of federal agents and analysts from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Secret Service, United States Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, police officers from the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments and deputies from the Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties Sheriff’s Offices, as well as federal and state prosecutors.
The Task Force will assist local law enforcement to investigate, arrest, and prosecute individuals responsible for gun violence in our communities, the press release said.
Minneapolis recorded its 31st homicide on Wednesday after a man who was shot just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night on the 3200 block of 2nd Avenue South later died at the hospital. The death was the second related to several shootings that took place on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Another man died and another was injured Tuesday night following a double shooting just after 11 p.m. on the 2100 block of Emerson Avenue North.
At least three others were reported to be injured in the series of shootings Tuesday. A female was reportedly shot near the bus depot in downtown Minneapolis just after 11 p.m. Earlier in the evening, just before 6 p.m., a female was shot at East Phillips park on the 2300 block of 17th Avenue South. Just before midnight, another gunshot victim showed up at HCMC in downtown Minneapolis and said the shooting occurred in north Minneapolis.
US Attorney MacDonald said the public may report tips to the Task Force by calling 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5324) or submit pictures and/or videos at www.fbi.gov/violence.
Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota