Updated: Jul 17
Nineteen different community partners, a council member, and a collection of neighbors stood together in the Minneapolis City Hall rotunda to oppose the city’s proposed plan to reestablish a permanent location for the Ward 3 police precinct. They say the city’s process has repeatedly failed to include the community.
The city has moved to consider two choices - either refitting the old precinct at 3000 Minnehaha or purchasing a vacant lot at 2600 Minnehaha and constructing a new facility there. Minneapolis residents say the decision Minneapolis residents say the decisions are being made without them, and it’s important they be involved.
“I saw residents break down in tears repeatedly, as they were prompted to relive one of the most traumatic moments of their lives,” Council member Robin Wonsley said. “And then they were asked, ‘would you prefer to be punched in your face, or in your stomach?’’”
An informal neighborhood survey conducted in 2022 found that 75% of Ward 3 residents opposed giving the precinct a new building at all.
Since then Longfellow Neighborhood Executive Director Rachel Boeke said she believes the opposition has remained consistent and perhaps even grown due to how the city has ignored community input.
In 2022, MPR News reported that residents were angered by the city’s silence when asked about plans for the precinct. At the time, interim city COO Heather Johnston apologized for the lack of communication. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Boeke said those communication problems persist, and that the city barely gave community organizations enough time to notify residents of the latest decision, let alone collect any feedback to provide the city.
“I really don’t think it’s a lot to ask, after a global uprising happened that focused on our neighborhood. All of these people here experienced something that the world watched, because of a violent act that was connected to decades of violent acts,” Powderhorn resident and Confluence Co-Founder Sam Gould said.
He recounted how after George Floyd’s death he had to console his children and assure them they were safe.
With more than 43,000 residents, Ward 3 is the largest of Minneapolis’s city wards, and is home to some of its oldest neighborhoods.