At a birthday gathering Saturday night in Dinkytown, near the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, I witnessed several hours of a full-blown riot half a block down the street at Seventh Street and 15th Avenue.
Hundreds of people were gathered in the street. People were standing on cars, breaking windows and denting the sides. Shouting, crowd chanting, physical fights and breaking bottles could be heard constantly. There were multiple fires in the street. This all had been occurring before I left the scene at about 11 p.m.
I am shamefully disappointed in both my peers who participated in such an activity and the police, who so unsatisfactorily responded to multiple phone calls requesting control of the riot. Hours after many phone calls were made, I witnessed police cars and fire trucks slowly drive by an adjacent street and do almost nothing to attempt to disperse the crowd.
I suppose I am especially upset by the lack of police response in Dinkytown because such activity would never be tolerated elsewhere in Minneapolis. For many students, the weekend of “Spring Jam” at the University means a time of excessive drinking and, apparently, lawlessness. I am appalled that the police have allowed such activity, perhaps because it is “expected” of the youthful residents in this area. In the interest of equal public safety throughout the community of the Twin Cities, I would appreciate a prompt and full police response to such riotous activity, no matter the neighborhood.