Riding with the Minneapolis Police Department in North Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police Officers Tim Gorman and Mark Klukow have worked the streets of North Minneapolis for almost 10 years. In an upcoming show on November 2, 2005, we will broadcast live from North Minneapolis where we will meet with citizens, cops, business people and politicians. In order to have a better understanding of the problems that people face who live in this neighborhood, I wanted to have a first hand view of events. Officers Klukow and Gorman agreed to take me along on patrol one Friday night.
While you see many squad cars in North Minneapolis, this is the one view you never want to see, from the backseat. Notice the shotgun with the white tape around the barrel and the fuzzy dice hanging from the video camera. Never say cops don't have senses of humor. Sitting in the back of this squad, I watched these officers spend most of their time just being an obvious presence. That's not to say there was nothing to do. On this evening alone, we responded to a robbery a gunpoint and a possible fight between 30 people. And this was only one of the squads in the Fourth Precinct this night.
About 11:00 p.m. we were called to Kalek's Bar for a robbery. As we stood out in the street at the corner of 21st and Washington, these officers tried to determine who stole what from whom, made all the more difficult because all involved seemed to have been drinking. Suffice it to say, a woman's wallet was allegedly stolen and the police had one suspect. In the end, after searching the suspect, the bar and even the alley behind the bar, the officers found nothing. They wrote a report and moved on.
Look closely at the front window of this house. The bullet holes are obvious. In the summer of 2005, somebody shot into this house and hit an innocent twelve year old girl. This girl still lives in this house with her mom and siblings. This picture alone made it clear to me that the people that live here often live in conditions that any of us would consider intolerable. Unfortunately, with few options, they stay. Apparently, they can't even afford to fix the window. I wonder, which scars are worse for this young girl, the physical or the mental ones?