Cedar-Riverside shooting: Councilmember calls out ‘disgusting’ lack of action on encampments

Following a reported deadly shooting at a homeless encampment Thursday morning in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, a city council member is pitting blame against the governor, MNDOT and other agencies for their lack of action toward cleaning up homeless encampments.

At approximately 6:25 a.m., Minneapolis Police Officers responded to the report of a shooting near 15th Ave S. and 6th St. S. where they located an unconscious adult male with fatal gunshot wounds inside a homeless encampment, according to a press release.

Hours after the shooting, Osman, who represents Ward 6 in Minneapolis, claims several agencies have "avoided responsibility, passed off blame" as they have ignored the "violent" encampments in his community.

"My staff and I have been begging for action at this encampment for months. The governor, MNDOT, and everyone else involved have avoided responsibility, passed off blame, and used accounting as excuses to ignore a homeless encampment in the middle of Cedar-Riverside," the statement from Osman reads. "For months MNDOT has refused to meet with community members whose quality of life they directly impact. For months MNDOT has refused to lead in ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of nearly 100 Minnesota residents…Violence is something that absolutely comes with any homeless encampment in the city."

In December the city of Minneapolis cleared a homeless encampment at the Quarry shopping center in Northeast Minneapolis – citing their illegality and safety concerns – and offering those onsite services provided by the Catholic Charities' Opportunity Center.

"I am disgusted at how the state has willfully ignored and disregarded my community. Politicians have no qualms about coming around Cedar Riverside at election time, but when a homeless encampment puts the health and safety of every resident there at risk, the Governor and his appointees couldn’t be bothered to show up for the community," read the statement from Osman. "I call on MNDOT to work with the City of Minneapolis to close this encampment as soon as possible. The residents I represent deserve better."