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'It Was Chaotic': Fight Puts North Memorial Medical Center On Lockdown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Officials at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale say they have no plans for additional security after a large fight broke out in the emergency room Thursday afternoon.

Police were called to the hospital to break up a fight involving 50 to 75 people in the emergency room. Security put the hospital on lockdown.

Officers from six additional agencies were called to help restore order.

Andre Barnes, whose mother is in the hospital, told WCCO what he saw.

North Memorial Medical Center Fight
Several squad cars parked outside of North Memorial (credit: Michael Wolden)

"It was chaotic. They had at least three groups talking to police officers, various floors I traveled down," Barnes said. "I wasn't specifically worried. I figured whatever was going on the cops were there, there was plenty of police activity. I figured it was handled."

The lockdown has since been lifted.

The Minnesota Nurses Association tells WCCO that hospital fights have been on the rise. They released this statement Thursday evening:

Incidents such as what happened at North Memorial today are becoming increasingly common as workplace violence incidents continue to rise. Minnesota's hospital workers deserve better. Hospitals need to do a better job of preventing these incidents from happening in the first place. It's never OK to yell at, intimidate, or threaten a nurse or any hospital employee. We need statewide protections for hospital workers who take care of all Minnesotans and guarantees that hospitals are working to prevent these things from happening in the first place.

Neither police nor North Memorial staff would tell us how the fight started.

Hospital officials say it's routine to have a small number of police officers in the building. Normal operations at the hospital have since been restored.

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