The Newsletter [[link removed]]
Hi John ,
Gun violence has been heavy on my mind these last two weeks. The impacts of the increase in violent crime and the blatant disregard for human life have shaken our community, coming to a head last Thursday when nine people were shot in one night.
Last week, I joined Jared Muskovitz on Protect Minnesota [[link removed]] podcast to discuss gun violence and restorative justice. I've been asked many times what I think is the cause for the rise in gun violence. The reasons vary -- poverty, environment, lack of education, hopelessness, peer pressure, and the list goes on. It is not a monolithic issue. What we know for sure is that picking up a weapon to resolve a problem is never the answer. We need to use our law enforcement resources to crack down on illegal distributors, swiftly and effectively prosecute gun cases, and pass legislation that makes it more difficult for these guns to get into the hands of career criminals. The United States is one of the most violent societies in the developed world, and guns are part of the problem.
If there's one thing I've learned over the past few years it's that when our elected leaders fail, individuals step up to make a difference in their place. Community members have been trying to come together to address gun violence through activism targeting the businesses that serve as sites for open air drug markets and gang hotspots in north Minneapolis.
The worst hotspot right now is located at Broadway and Lyndale in the parking lot of Winner Gas and Merwin’s Liquors. When you have a quadruple shooting one day and then the next day people are back openly selling drugs in the same area, that is a clear sign that something must be done. I’m pleased to hear that our Attorney General and the HCAO have decided to open an investigation into the business owners [[link removed]] to hold them accountable for turning a blind eye to the crime happening daily on their premises. This approach works, and I used it when I was the city attorney. P rosecutors should not only focus on the businesses inside, but also the individuals outside making our community unsafe. If we are going to give low-level felons a second chance, as I strongly believe in, we also need to give our community members a first chance to live safely in their neighborhoods.
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Minneapolis, MN 55403
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