On July 4th, Somali youth in Minneapolis, Minnesota celebrated U.S. independence by firing off fireworks at each other and at police officers. One individual, however, was severely injured by an explosive and was captured on video bleeding out on the sidewalk.

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.

Despite a large police presence and significant preparation, there were significant injuries, criminal behaviors, and arrests that the police force had to deal with throughout the night.

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.

A 17-year-old male was taken into custody after launching mortars at police squad cars and has a pending second-degree assault charge.

Rebecca Brannon, an independent photojournalist, bravely entered into the middle of the chaos to capture video of exactly how destructive everyone was being.

One of her videos from Boom Island shows large groups of young men firing rockets at each other and at Brannon.

“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.”


Brannon also captured footage of a man who was bleeding out on the ground after being hit with a mortar firework that was thrown through the air.

She wrote that the incident took place after 1 a.m. and that the victim, who was about 24 years old, was rushed to the hospital.

“There was just so much going on all around,” wrote Brannon. “It was chaos. Keep in mind this went on from 10pm to 3am all over Minneapolis.”



Political commentator Andy Ngô posted a video taken by a local Minneapolis TV station that had fireworks shot at them while they were interviewing a young Somali American man during the chaotic night.

In the middle of the interview, the young man suddenly jumped back and yelled, “Behind you, behind you! It’s gonna blow up!”

Shortly after this, there was a loud explosion as a firework exploded right in front of the person who was filming, nearly hitting them.



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