Source: Threats contributed to collapse of 3rd Precinct lease deal

Community organizer Robin Wonsley said she and her neighbors felt betrayed by the City of Minneapolis when the council attempted to move forward with a plan to re-open a temporary Third Precinct police headquarters less than a mile from the old one.

The old one was torched during the unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

“How dare you think this is even appropriate to bring to a community still grieving, that has no space for healing from the events that transpired in May? Here is that moment to actually do something different, let us have that community process to figure out what that different is.”

On Wednesday, lease negotiations at 2633 Minnehaha Avenue fell apart between the city and the owners, Lothenbach Properties and Imagine Express. Both sides agreed “amicably” to move in a different direction with the vacant site.

But, FOX 9 sources with firsthand knowledge said one of the major reasons the deal collapsed was a series of violent threats directed at the ownership group and their family. 

The alleged threats come at a time of great uncertainty and tensions surrounding the future of the Minneapolis Police Department and public safety in general. Minneapolis police reported that on Sept. 14, officers took a 911 call that was dispatched to the Minnehaha Avenue property stating that the west side of the building had been significantly defaced with anti-police graffiti and there was threat to “burn down the building.”

Councilmember Andrew Johnson said that it was critical for the city to find a new temporary home for the police who patrol the Third Precinct as soon as possible.

“They are continuing to respond to 911 calls and service the area. I don’t see any of that that in conflict with our larger public safety work,” Councilmember Johnson said.

Many are currently working out of the Convention Center, and MPD has been told they can’t stay there as tenants much longer.