Religious leaders plan to begin block patrols in Minneapolis next week


“We are asking each church to adopt a particular hot spot, north of Minneapolis, south of Minneapolis, 63rd and Zane in Brooklyn Park, as well as in St. Paul,” said Rev. Jerry McAfee, with the New Salem Baptist Missionary Church. “We want to patrol this area and bring a presence there, push back the nonsense.”

First, a 10-year-old boy, followed by a 9-year-old girl, then a 6-year-old girl have all been shot dead in northern Minneapolis in recent weeks.

Families seek justice after 3 children shot dead in Minneapolis

With the new plan, longtime pastor McAfee said community and faith leaders will team up to patrol different areas from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

These efforts come at a time when Minneapolis is experiencing an increase in crime.

Since the start of the year, homicides have been slightly more than double in 2021 compared to 2020.

Additionally, so far this year, police have removed just over 300 guns from the streets, about 100 guns less than at this point last year. Police say one of the reasons is that there are fewer officers.

Marsha Mayes is one of the community members who says she’s had enough. She said she raised her voice during vigils for victims of violence.

In 2011, a stray bullet killed her 3-year-old son. His case is still not resolved.

“It’s important to get out and watch your streets, it’s important to get out and see the things that are going on because if you can stop a situation, or if you can call the police before it gets completely bad, you are “saving someone. “Said Mayes.

Religious leaders say the block patrol will also provide resources to people on employment and housing opportunities.

Regarding the cases of the three children, Minneapolis Police said the FBI was also participating in the investigations. Arrests have yet to be made and anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit information online.

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