The rash of shootings in Minneapolis is increasingly disturbing, not just for the death and violence, but for the fact that we seem incapable of doing anything about it.
A bizarre news conference last week announced an initiative where police will target members of the three street gangs that have been determined to be responsible for much of the violence on the North Side of Minneapolis. Here are excerpts of the Star Tribune coverage:
First to challenge the city leaders was Al Flowers, a member of a group designed to improve police and community relations. Like several other members of the crowd, he said he was concerned that the department's gang initiative will allow officers to racially profile young black men in North Side neighborhoods. He had to be restrained by officers and fellow community members.
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Reginald Sparkman, 39, said he lived in Chicago before moving to north Minneapolis. Kids are joining gangs because there are no jobs and other resources to succeed in poorer neighborhoods, he said.
"I know police can't ignore the gang problem, but they need to go after all the gangs," Sparkman said. "Not just the black gangs."
This is very disturbing. One of the targeted gangs was found to be involved in a robbery of a gun shop and an incident where a 15 year-old boy was dragged off a city bus and then beaten and robbed. Now we are worried about equal opportunity in law enforcement targeting gangs.
This talk of "going after all the gangs" reminds me of actor David Caruso's early career on Hill Street Blues. The red-headed actor would participate in "gang summits" on the show wearing -- no kidding -- a large shamrock. Maybe we could go after the shamrock gang in Minneapolis, too.