Minneapolis Police Department Is ‘Overwhelmed,’ But Hopeful

May 30, 2020

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The Minneapolis Police and Fire Departments have been inundated with 911 calls they have been forced to prioritize, according to Public Information Officer John Elder at a Saturday afternoon press conference. 

Elder said at the time of the press conference, the police department had 57 calls waiting for an officer response, and 18 of those calls were considered first priority. 

Between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m. this morning, 27 people were booked in the Hennepin County Jail -- 25 of those arrests were in connection with probable cause riot, and two were in connection with burglary. 

From 8 a.m. yesterday morning to 8 a.m. this morning, the police department fielded 383 burglary calls and 131 calls for gunshots fired. There were also 23 fires last night. Nobody was killed. 

“The chief mentioned that we are overwhelmed,” Elder said. “These are times that I don’t believe has been seen in Minnesota before. We’re dealing with a pandemic and this tragedy, and now all the fallout from it.” 

Tonight, the police department warned protesters to abide by the 8 p.m. curfew “for your own safety and the safety of others.” 

“We are not going to let a group of people hijack this city,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said. “So today, I just wanted to let the citizens of Minneapolis know that hope is here. We are seeing it in so many ways.” 

Arradondo said protesters have been communicating with the police department to inform officers where they will be rallying, “so that helps us.” He said this gives the department the ability to identify the people who are infiltrating rallies to inflict harm. 

“The vast majority of our people here are about hope,” Arradondo said. “But those folks who are sticking around late into the evenings and would stand next to someone who would commit arson to a person’s business they don’t even know, you are complicit in harming our community.”

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