Sunday, May 31, 2020

American Indian Movement Patrol Comes Under Fire by Law Enforcement in Minneapolis

By Darren Thompson - May 31, 2020 at 02:20PM

AIM patrol vehicle hit by Minneapolis Police overnight. Native News Online photographs by Darren Thompson

Published May 31, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS — As civil unrest over the death of George Floyd continued in Minneapolis for a fifth consecutive night, shots were fired at an American Indian Movement (AIM) patrol and residents of a housing project for Native Americans.   

At approximately 1 a.m., as law enforcement attempted to disperse a crowd, officers mistook an American Indian Movement (AIM) patrol for residents defying a curfew put in place on Friday evening.  Officers allegedly began firing into the crowd at the Little Earth housing project that predominantly houses American Indian residents.

There were no injuries sustained in the shooting.  An  AIM patrol vehicle’s windows were shattered.

A curfew was set from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. nightly until the violence subsided.

Before the curfew began, at 8:00 pm, the community gathered for prayer, song and a meal with instructions for the evening AIM patrol. Those patrolling had to carry a permission letter from the City of Minneapolis at all times or risk being targeted by police. 

Law enforcement officers moving through the streets didn’t get that information, however, and violence spilled into the community. The patrol set up barricades to prevent both vehicle and foot traffic from bringing law enforcement into the community. There were several altercations, with only one having to deter riot crowds from entering the community. 

Several vehicles parked in the area were fired upon and had windows shattered and tires popped. Those seen in the area of the neighborhood were fired at with both rubber bullets and tear gas by the Minneapolis Police who drove by shooting.

Fortunately, there were not injuries sustained in the shooting.

With more than 100 arrests in the Twin Cities metro area, there were none in the American Indian community relating to the curfew. 

The American Indian Movement, founded in the Twin Cities in 1968, patrolled American Indian businesses, organizations and programs after the initial peaceful protests over Floyd’s death have turned into riots with looting and destruction of property.

Even with the patrol, early Friday morning, Migizi Communication, a 40-year-old American Indian youth organization, was severely damaged from fire that spread from another building that was intentionally set on fire.

There was no estimate to the damage done to the AIM patrol vehicle at press time.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Levi Rickert contributed to this story from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The post American Indian Movement Patrol Comes Under Fire by Law Enforcement in Minneapolis appeared first on Native News Online.

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