16 arrested after mob of Minneapolis teens roam streets, shoot fireworks at people

"The targeting of innocent people with fireworks is unlawful, dangerous and wholly unacceptable."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
The Fourth of July turned out to be another chaotic night in Minneapolis as shocking video shows minors brazenly launching fireworks at police cruisers in the city.

WCCO News reports that the incident happened in the middle of the road near Boom Island at about 1:30 am on Wednesday. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene to disperse the reluctant crowd that refused to comply.

Officers with the Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis Park Police, and the Minnesota State Patrol were able to restore order around 2 am.

Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara addressed the incident during a press brief on Wednesday and denounced the group's violence while he commended the officers for showing "professionalism" and "extreme constraint" under the unprecedented circumstances.

"Many of you have seen the social media videos that were circulated online last night of a fully-marked Minneapolis Police squad car receiving a barrage of fireworks repeatedly. An MPD officer manning that car exercised professionalism and extreme restraint under those circumstances," O'Hara said.

"The targeting of innocent people with fireworks is unlawful, dangerous and wholly unacceptable. As we saw last night, this behavior is not only a danger to the targets of the unlawful behavior, but it's also a danger those that choose to engage in the activity themselves. 

Chief O'Hara said that officers apprehended the suspect launching fireworks at the police cruiser and took him into custody. O'Hara announced that 16 people were arrested, 11 juveniles and 5 adults, during Fourth of July activities on Tuesday.

Independent journalist Rebecca Brannon, who was reporting on a similar nearby incident, explained that large groups of individuals were also shooting fireworks at members of the community.

"Woman near Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska told me large groups shot fireworks at her and other residents," Brannon reported. "She had out on sprinklers to prevent fires and showed me her wounds."

Brannon noted the long police response time and questioned the reason for the delay stating, "I’m not sure why police took so long to arrive at Calhoun or the delayed response to 911 calls."

"Authorities were mostly all staged on SE University in NE w/ the Police Chief. I had followed them to the Lake about midnight. But residents told me groups had already gathered about 11pm," Brannon said. "I wanted to keep up with the moving car caravan so I could not stay to video more and talk to other residents longer; they told me the large groups had gathered in their driveways and yards, kept shooting at homes and anyone they could. The area was littered with fireworks and completely quiet once police cleared it after nearly two hours of the groups in the shooting fireworks in the residential area."

Video showed police telling a group to "go home," to which the group responded "f*ck off."

Brannon captured roaming groups shooting fireworks at each other as they drove around the area.

Police stopped one group in a truck, which were found to possess illegal fireworks as well as a firearm.

Brannon said she had to call 911 after a person was injured by a large mortar firework. The man suffered a serious wound to his stomach, she said.

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