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Midnight in Minneapolis: “It’s the Wild, Wild West”

They say nothing good happens after midnight. Apparently the adage particularly applies to downtown Minneapolis, where WCCO-TV documented more violence over the weekend.

Once again, weekend nightlife in downtown Minneapolis was unnervingly interrupted by gunfire in the heart of the city’s crowded entertainment district.

The latest shooting led to a hectic scene as officers helped tend to the victim, search for a shooter, and control the anxious crowds that had just been let out of several bars and clubs.

Business owners told WCCO-TV their patrons increasingly fear for their safety.

“By midnight the place is almost empty because people are trying to get out of Dodge,” Jay Ettinger, part-owner at The Pourhouse, said.

“All of a sudden its 12:30 and they’re like, ‘You know what, we don’t want to be part of the shenanigans down here. We’re going home,’” Tim Mahoney, part-owner of The Loon Cafe, said.

“Downtown is getting a little crazy,” Kristen Hicks, bar manager of The 508 Bar & Restaurant, said.

Long-time bar owners say it’s the continuation of a trend of lower standards for what’s allowed on the streets that started several years ago.

“What we’ve watched over the last seven years is just the decline of downtown Minneapolis,” Mahoney said.

They say late nights downtown bring out loitering, harassment and violence.

“It’s the wild, wild west out here,” Ettinger said.

“There’s a lot of violence out here. One of my security guards was actually shot,” Hicks said.

On paper, the rate of violent crime in the city hit a 30-year low last year. But that doesn’t mean people feel safe downtown late at night. There’s a reason Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey just requested 14 more cops in his next budget request just out today. But that falls far short of the 400 cops Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo hopes to deploy by 2025.

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