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Minneapolis police chief calls recent spate of gun violence ‘public health crisis’

Plus: online video shows ex-Minneapolis officer charged in George Floyd’s death confronted at a grocery store; four die in wrong way crash on I-35W; Twins’ Nelson Cruz receives humanitarian award at ESPYS; and more.

Chief Medaria Arradondo
Chief Medaria Arradondo
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul

In the Star Tribune, Libor Jany, Paul Walsh and Kim Hyatt report, “Gunmen unleashed a torrent of bullets in a crowded block in the heart of Minneapolis’ Uptown area early Sunday, killing one person and wounding 11 others in one of the city’s most violent shootings in recent memory. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the carnage ‘tragic and senseless’ and said the FBI and state agencies will assist his department as it deals with the recent surge in shootings around the city. ‘We have seen unfortunately in the past several months an uptick in violent crime in Minneapolis …The numbers we are seeing are truly … a public health crisis.’ … The shooting was one of several across the city since Saturday afternoon … with more than 90 people shot in Minneapolis since May 26.

From WCCO-TV: “In an interview with ’60 Minutes’ that aired Sunday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says he’s working towards building trust and reforming the department — but getting rid of it is not the solution. ‘Each and every day I hear from community members who rely upon us, who are saying that we cannot afford to take away a public safety mechanism when we still have a lawless society,’ Arradondo said. ‘Now, they also say we need good policing. We know it’s broken. We need to make changes.’”

Ryan Faircloth and Anthony Lonetree of the Star Tribune say, “If Minneapolis Public Schools students are able to return to their classrooms this fall, the hallways they roam will be free of police for the first time in more than 50 years. Soon, the same could be said for a growing number of public school districts across the country, which are considering following Minneapolis’ lead in kicking officers out of schools after the police killing of George Floyd. … During a school board meeting last week, St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Joe Gothard said he received more than 1,000 e-mails since Floyd’s death, with most people urging the district to remove SROs from schools.”

Also from WCCO: “A video posted to Twitter shows a fired Minneapolis police officer — who was charged in George Floyd’s death and later released from jail — being confronted at a grocery store over the weekend. According to the Twitter post, the confrontation occurred at the Cub Foods in Plymouth. In the video, J. Alexander Kueng is confronted and confirms his identity to the person filming, who asks Kueng why he’s ‘comfortably shopping’ as if he didn’t do anything.…The video continues with the person filming asking Kueng if he has any remorse and informing others in the store of his identity. … As of 1:30 p.m., the video was viewed more than 1.4 million times.”

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The story at KARE-TV says, “Four people died and another person suffered serious injuries in a wrong way crash Saturday night on Interstate 35W in Richfield. The Minnesota State Patrol says a Nissan Murano SUV was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-35W near 66th Street when it collided with a northbound GMC Terrain SUV just before 10 p.m. Saturday. The state patrol accident report said three of the four people in the GMC died at the scene. …The state patrol said the driver and sole occupant of the Murano, a 21-year-old St. Paul man, died at the scene.”

Adam Uren at BringMeTheNews says, “After 20 years in business, Lyn-Lake’s The Herkimer Pub and Brewery will be closing for good this week. The Lyndale Avenue pub has become the latest Twin Cities restaurant and bar to shutter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. … The bar said that even prior to the coronavirus outbreak, it was ‘increasingly apparent that the evolving character of the industry was becoming less able to sustain a neighborhood pub like us.’”

The Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow writes, “Minnesota transportation agencies have moved open houses about construction projects online as COVID-19 restrictions have curtailed in-person meetings. And surprisingly, lots of people are watching. More than 250 people viewed a self-guided online study the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) posted in April about long-term plans for the I-94/694/494 interchange in Woodbury and Oakdale.”

KSTP-TV reports: “In recognition of his long-standing efforts to transform the safety and welfare of his hometown, along with his many other off-field and community endeavors, Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named the recipient of the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award during the 2020 ESPYS Sunday night. … The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award is given to an athlete whose continuous, demonstrated leadership has created a measured positive impact on their community through sports.”

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