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Commissioner to businesses serving as crime hot spots: "Do something better"

WCCO goes 1-on-1 with Mpls. Community Safety Commissioner
WCCO goes 1-on-1 with Mpls. Community Safety Commissioner 02:57

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander's one-month anniversary on the job was perhaps the deadliest day he's seen so far. 

Gunmen shot nine people in the span of just five hours. Two of those people died, including a 16-year-old. 

On Friday, Alexander spoke with WCCO on the issue.  

"We have some serious issues in our community, particularly with young people and violence," he said. "I happened to be in the (Police) Homicide Department earlier today and let me tell you – those guys are all over it, but you know, the cases keep coming."

On Friday morning, community activists rallied outside the site of one of the shootings -- near Winner Gas on the city's north side. 

The gas station sits across the street from Merwin's Liquors. Community leaders criticized both locations for being a hot spot for crime. 

"All this gun violence going on here, it has to stop. It has to stop," said Trelisa McCray, whose 24-year-old son was one of four shot outside Winner Gas Thursday evening.

"These two businesses have been implicit for some of the things going on," said Donna Anderson of A Mother's Love during Friday morning's rally. "There's no way you should be able to keep your license for business and with this much violence going on around your business."

Alexander echoed the call of responsibility for business owners. 

"Everyone has the responsibility as business owners to do more and to do better," he said. "Yes they have legal rights in which they stand on, but also the citizens who come in and out of their businesses have a right to be safe."

"Do something better," Alexander said. "You see the violence that's taking place in an around your business. Take an effort to do something."

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