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After An Uptick In Violent Incidents Near 38th And Chicago, Residents Concerned But Not Discouraged

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Shot spotter activations and multiple 911 reports near 38th Street and Chicago Avenue has many concerned about a recent surge of violence in that area.

Since the intersection known as George Floyd Square re-opened to traffic last summer, the number of shootings and violent acts had gone down.

WCCO's Reg Chapman spoke with a group that works to stand in the gap between community and police to promote peace.

"We are the only community probably in the United States that has had to self-police," said Bridgette Stewart.

For the past 20 months the area surrounding George Floyd Square has served as a memorial to a life lost.

"We had over 120 days inside the square -  data driven, shows its on the MPD website that there was no shots fired," Stewart said.

Agape Movement's Bridgette Stewart says three recent violent incidents should not take away from the positive work going on near 38th and Chicago.

"One of them happen to be inside of a private residence. It was a domestic incident that escalated and unfortunately turned into a homicide," said Stewart.

The other incident was a random shooting. And then a kidnapping of an individual who was held inside an abandoned building in the area.

"The residents and business owners have been complaining about that particular spot for about seven months and unfortunately it became an encampment for homelessness and somehow they got inside and we ended up with a DOA," said Stewart.

Agape says it needs help to keep residents and visitors safe.

"If we can get more funding and more support; a lot of people say they stand with us behind closed doors but they don't really show up to stand in the gap with the community," said Marquise Bowie.

The group is encouraged by the attention to the area given by new third precinct Inspector Jose Gomez.

"The new inspector Gomez who has really decided to stand up and say 'hey I am for the community I myself am a minority how do we take that first step'," Stewart said.

First steps have been taken and Agape Movement hopes to move forward to restoring this area to the cultural district it once was.

The city of Minneapolis says it hopes to work with community to figure out the best way to use the abandoned building.


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