MUSC Statement on the Minnehaha Regional Park Incident
Friday, July 13, 2018
An all-too familiar scene occurred on the evening of Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in the Minnehaha Regional Park in Minnesota, MN. Instead of having a carefree summer, the lives of 4 young Black boys ages 13-16 were forever changed based on a 911 call describing a “dangerous and escalating” confrontation involving sticks and a gun between these boys, an older White teen and his girlfriend. Upon arrival on the scene, the Minneapolis Park Police drew their guns on the boys, pointed their guns at them, and subsequently handcuffed the 4 young Black boys based on this false information. No weapons of any kind were found on any of the boys. Additionally, it was later revealed that the information provided in the 911 call was contradicted accounts by other witnesses, including a White woman who videotaped the incident and shared her account on Facebook.
MOBB United for Social Change, Inc is horrified by the pattern of incidents involving Black boys and men where their lives are endangered based on false reporting to law enforcement. The 4 boys, who reportedly were victims of harassment by the older teen and girlfriend, were handcuffed and detained on the ground and in the back of a police car. Other witnesses at the scene indicated that the police involvement on the scene was solely focused on the Black boys as the police failed to search the older White teen and his girlfriend at the scene. Based on the latest reports, the girlfriend / 911 caller has not been identified and/or located yet.
MOBB United for Social Change, Inc expects Minneapolis Park Police and the Parks and Recreation Board to fulfill their promise for an independent investigation. We also echo the calls from the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) and community members for an immediate and transparent investigation into the incident resulting in a “fake call targeting Somali Children.” Continued communication with the local community regarding the investigation and the status of the 911 caller and her boyfriend is critical. Finally, the community needs to know if the Park Police violated any policies, procedures, and other laws in their response to this incident.