State law enforcement presence in Minneapolis will be stepped up following a chaotic end to Fourth of July.
High-profile incidents saw seven people shot following informal fireworks gatherings at Boom Island Park, and large groups firing fireworks at people, vehicles, and buildings in downtown Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Police Department and Minneapolis Parks Police told Bring Me The News that no arrests have been made in any of the incidents as of Thursday, with police and city leaders blaming a large volume of 911 calls dragging officers to other scenes.
Gov. Tim Walz said in an ensuing press conference that he would continue to provide state law enforcement resources in the city. On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that it will "significantly increase its presence" in the Twin Cities in response "to an increase in criminal activity and street racing this past weekend."
“We have seen dangerous activity escalate in the Twin Cities metro region in the last few weeks,” Harrington said. "The Department of Public safety – including the BCA and MSP [State Patrol] – are continuing to work in partnership bringing together our state, local and federal agencies to hold offenders accountable and to keep our communities safe."
Two DPS divisions have already been operating to tackle violent crime in Minneapolis and the surrounding cities, which Walz points out has led to a drop in violent crime in the city compared to 2021, albeit still much higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The DPS has received $4 million from Walz to boost its presence, which the DPS argues is yielding results.
It says that since April, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has "opened 93 cases, made 171 arrests and seized 109 firearms in Minneapolis," after it assigned 12 state investigators and a criminal analyst to assist with homicide and gun crime investigations in Minneapolis until September 22.
Meanwhile Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, says Twin Cities residents can expect to see an enhanced presence on the roads Friday and Saturday, with the patrol adding an extra 20 troopers and patrol helicopters to crack down on street racing in the metro, primarily in Minneapolis.
This is in additional to the troopers the patrol has already assigned to "high crime areas" to help Minneapolis Police Department, with four troopers in two squad cars carrying out "high visibility patrols" in assigned areas, though they do not respond to 911 calls.