On July 4th, Somali youth in Minneapolis, Minnesota celebrated U.S. independence by firing off fireworks at police officers.

In Northeast Minneapolis, Fourth of July celebrations got out of hand as young people began firing off Roman Candles at others, including police officers who tried to get involved to end the chaos.

Near Boom Island Park, the Minneapolis Park Police responded to reports of about 40 youths targeting people and police officers with fireworks in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district which has been labeled “Little Somalia” due to the large number of refugees.

Political commentator Jason Jones posted a series of videos from the night of violence and vandalism, writing, “Last night a group of young Somali’s attacked the police using fireworks. This wasn’t in some faraway European social experiment like France, this was right here in Minneapolis, Minnesota.”

Rebecca Brannon, an independent photojournalist, posted a video from Boom Island showing large groups of young men firing rockets at each other.

“Hundreds set off a war zone of fireworks shooting at people and vehicles – behind and all around me,” wrote Brannon. “One person even started shooting roman candles at me while I filmed.”


“You can hear it as fireworks were going off everywhere – it was just impossible to film it all especially without being targeted myself – groups had spread out a few blocks which is what made it difficult for police to initially contain,” she added. “To my right, behind the warehouses and directly behind me near the park entrance vehicles were shot at [through] the intersection for almost an hour before Police completely cleared the area.”

“The groups dispersed and then went to Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha.”

Despite these incidences of violence, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara said that he was pleased with the police department’s handling of the evening.

“There’s a very robust plan in place to secure some of these locations that we knew would be problematic beforehand to close some of the streets, to close the bridge, to ensure additional visible, you know, presence to deter some of these gatherings in the first place,” O’Hara told KARE 11.


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