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National Night Out brings neighbors, police together

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Block parties, barbecues and thousands of other events were held across Minnesota Tuesday night, meant to bring people and law enforcement officials together.

The events were for National Night Out (sometimes called Night to Unite) – a night dedicated to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

National Night Out organizers say it's been a "tough couple months" across the country, but they hope communities can keep the "energy and spirit" from the festivities "going throughout the year."

Recent officer-involved shootings in the Twin Cities has created tension between citizens and police, but that wasn't apparent Tuesday night, according to reports.

The Star Tribune described the scene in North Minneapolis, where Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who was criticized this spring for not charging the two officers who fatally shot Jamar Clark, visited neighborhood parties.

The paper says there was "a lot of handshaking, but no signs of tension or protests" where Freeman went.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office was spreading a message of partnership and trust between law enforcement and the community – officials handed out rubber wristbands with "Trust – Change – Together – 2016" written on them, according to a Facebook post.

And in St. Anthony, KSTP says the night out had a different meaning in the wake of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, who was killed by Jeronimo Yanez, a St. Anthony police officer, on July 6.

"I think this night is really important, especially this year with the shooting and how this community is grieving and struggling to deal with it,” Eva Grooms, a neighbor in St. Anthony, told KARE 11.

African American community members hoped law enforcement officials would use National Night Out as a way to get to know them and understand who they are, the KSTP reports.

In St. Paul, where protests have been going on since Castile was fatally shot, had 300-plus National Night Out events – a record for the capital city, according to FOX 9's Courtney Godfrey on Twitter.

Here's a look at some of the events from across the state Tuesday night:

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