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November 26, 2014

Precinct caucus in Minneapolis shut down over fight

A precinct caucus in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood was shut down on Tuesday night after a fight broke out in a large and riled up crowd at the Brian Coyle Community Center.

According to the Star Tribune, nearly 300 people, most of them Somali, turned out. The newspaper says the altercation was over who would chair the event and occurred before delegates were elected.

According to the report, an aide for council member Andrew Johnson was injured.

Johnson told the Star Tribune, “She was attacked. She’s got some bruises and cuts but she’s going to be fine.”

Park board commissioner Scott Vreeland told the newspaper he tried to break up the fight.

“There was an argument about who was controlling the meeting, as far as I could tell,” Vreeland said. “And then there was kind of a rush forward of folks that wanted something different.”

The Star Tribune reports the two people running to chair the meeting were Mohamed Jama and Zamzam Ali.

Police officers quickly quieted the crowd and told people to leave the building, but no one was arrested.

MPR News reports many of those in attendance were supporters of Minneapolis School Board member Mohamud Noor. He is running for the house district 60B seat currently held by DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn.

Noor was recently elected to the school board, while Kahn has has held her seat in the legislature for more than 40 years.

MinnPost reported Noor comes from the Somali community that showed its political clout when it elected Abdi Warsame to the Minneapolis City Council. Warsame defeated longtime DFL incumbent Robert Lilligren.