Skip to main content

Carver County orders Scream Town shutdown over memo targeting Somalis

The county canceled its policing contract with the Chaska attraction.

Carver County has ordered Chaska Halloween attraction Scream Town to shut down after its owner released a memo singling out Somali customers.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson, County Attorney Mark Metz, and County Administrator David Hemze announced it had terminated the sheriff's office contract with Scream Town and owner Matt Dunn.

The sheriff's office had been contracted to provide security, grounds patrol, traffic and crowd control and law enforcement during its 6-week opening period.

With no contract in place, the property that hosts Scream Town is in violation of its Conditional Use Permit.

"The County today issued an immediate stop work order for the Scream Town operation on the SSP Holdings’ property," it said.

It comes after Matt Dunn posted a memo to a Scream Town Actors Facebook group calling for "zero tolerance" to be shown to Somali customers, after problems the attraction had with a group of about 8-10 people last weekend. 

After a screenshot of the memo was widely shared on social media, Scream Town issued an apology, saying it welcomes people of all backgrounds.

The memo read:

"Note that we are having a zero tolerance policy with Somalis. (Other guests, you make your best judgement call) But absolutely zero tolerance with Somalis. Your diligence in this matter is crucial. 

Carver County says that the posting of this memo contravened its contract with the sheriff's office, which said there should be no discrimination based on race or nationality.

Even if it were to find another security provider, Hemze told Bring Me The News it would need to alter its permit for the land.

"We hold equal treatment of all people among our highest principles,” Hemze said in a statement.

"Mr. Dunn’s comments discriminated against one group based on their national origin. There is no ambiguity to Mr. Dunn’s comments. Mr. Dunn encouraged his employees to racially profile a targeted group and his comments are completely unacceptable. They do not comply with County policy, and they breached our contract with him."

"Carver County unequivocally does not allow anyone in its organization to discriminate based on national origin or race and we most certainly will not contract with any business that discriminates or has discriminatory policies,” County Board chair Gayle Degler added.

Next Up


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


Scream Town owner sorry for post targeting Somali customers

He suggested a zero tolerance policy towards Somalis at the Chaska attraction.

adandoned drive-thru : scream town

Masks required when Scream Town opens outdoor haunted houses

Scream Town's nearby haunted hayride will be a drive-through this year

Chaska High School

Chaska HS embroiled in new racism storm after student's blackface video

It's the latest in a series of racist incidents involving the school in recent years.

chaska school fight

Fight breaks out over mask policy at Eastern Carver County School Board meeting

The district on Monday updated its mask policy to require them for all students.

Screen Shot 2021-04-27 at 9.07.15 PM

Man arrested over racist graffiti at Moorhead mosque

The 22-year-old is being held in the Clay County Jail.


Group wants Chaska HS principal removed over series of 'racist incidents'

Local parents have begun circulating a petition calling for major changes to the school district.


Complaint made over 'Aryan Cowboy' gang in Stillwater

Police are investigating a woman's complaint about the biker gang.