The situation in North Minneapolis has worsened as northside business owners and managers are calling it a “warzone,” saying drugs have flooded the streets.
Mike Oker is the manager of the 4th Street Salon on West Broadway. He shared a video with News Talk 830 WCCO showing what is happening across the street from his bar.
Oker described what was going on in the video, saying that drug addicts were lined up outside cars like they were “ice cream trucks.”
“It’s insane,” Oker said. “They come up with full face masks on, and it’s very intimidating to the public.”
He shared that on any given night, between 15 and 50 people come to hang out after a nearby liquor store and gas station close for the night.
The situation is hurting some businesses; as Oker said, “Customers are afraid to come in the bar.
“The city is supposed to keep these areas safe, for us to run businesses, and it’s not being done,” Oker said. “I know we have a shortage of cops, but there has got to be an answer somewhere where they figure that out.”
The Kemps company has hired armed security guards to help employees get to and from work as the situation has yet to get better or be addressed by Minneapolis police.
“They are wearing body armor with rifles, but the gang members have semi-automatic weapons,” Oker said. “It’s frustrating.”
Oker said he has had to kick out some people from his bar, and they told him they are going to take over 4th street and deter people from going into it.
“It’s been a total nightmare,” Oker said. “No one wants to come to North Minneapolis, and I hate that because it’s a beautiful place.”
He said they have a meeting with police this week to try and find a way to deal with what he called an increasingly dangerous situation.