Minneapolis police make “numerous” arrests after fireworks chaos in Dinkytown

MINNEAPOLIS — Dozens of people were arrested in Dinkytown on Thursday night during a chaotic scene that saw people setting off fireworks in the street.

Video from the scene captured the chaos that ensued as youths launched fireworks at others, into the streets and into cars. Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said at a news conference Friday afternoon that no one was seriously injured.


“I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff here in the few months I’ve been working here, but I haven’t seen anyone get hurt with fireworks,” said Emily Schoon, an employee at Mesa Pizza.

Schoon was working at Mesa Pizza late Thursday night, amid chaos.

“The vast majority are not actually involved in shooting fireworks at people, but they are part of the problem because they are commenting on social media and they are creating an audience that allows this type of practice to continue,” O’Hara said.

“It’s ridiculous that our residents and other people who visit our city have to deal with this outrageous behavior,” O’Hara said. “That’s why our law enforcement response was different this year.”

The Minneapolis Police Department had more than 200 extra officers on duty. Deputies from Ramsey County, Minneapolis Park Police, University of Minnesota Police and State Patrol were also on duty throughout the city.

“If you have 100 people coming to Dinkytown to do nothing but destroy and cause damage, that is a huge problem,” said Erin Brumm, a board member of the local nonprofit Campus Safety Coalition.

The group was founded several years ago in response to ongoing concerns about crime near the University of Minnesota.

“It’s predictable, it’s frustrating and I really don’t understand why we have to keep having these conversations,” Brumm said.


Minneapolis police say they arrested 30 people and issued five tickets overnight.

“These numbers are likely to increase,” O’Hara said. “There were multiple agencies involved in this operation and those reports are still coming in.”

Of those arrested and ticketed, 27 were adults and eight were minors, ranging in age from mid-teens to early twenties.

O’Hara said that, like last year, some of those involved came from outside the city of Minneapolis.


“Twenty-eight of these individuals are from outside of Minneapolis,” O’Hara said. “Five of them aren’t even from Minnesota. They were from Kansas, Massachusetts, and two from Maine.”

“I was on the sixth floor, so it’s a little concerning to have fireworks flying that high,” said Ben Lefebvre, who watched the chaos from an apartment window. “One came a little too close for comfort from the window. And again, those mortars are shaking the building — they’re big. They’re like grenades.”

Charges are being considered and will likely be for rioting. O’Hara said specific individuals who threw mortars will also be charged with assault.

“We need to actually pass laws and we need prosecutors who will prosecute and put in jail the people who do this,” Brumm said.

Parks and public areas will also be closed at night this weekend.

In preparation for the Fourth of July holiday, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said would be a heavier police presenceand said that if anyone endangered the safety or property of others, officers would intervene.

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