Three young and loosely organized gangs that Minneapolis police officials say are responsible for a significant chunk of violent crime in one area are the target of an intensive monthlong crackdown to dismantle their operations, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. On any given day, up to 40 officers will focus on specific gang members from the Emerson Murder Boyz, Tre Tre Crips, and 19 Block Dip Set whom police have linked to nearly a dozen homicides and dozens more shootings and robberies.
Police Capt. Mike Martin said the new strategy involves surveillance of gang members and making sure that any probation requirements are strictly enforced. Officers will also have frequent contact with members and will “do whatever they can” to disrupt their ability to commit crimes, he said. Several residents, City Council members, and community activists said they support the police action, but others said it gives officers license to racially profile young black men. Interim Police Chief Tim Dolan emphasized that officers won’t cruise streets to pick up people randomly. The police department’s Safe City initiative, announced this summer, spread resources too thin and didn’t allow for enough proactive policing in the high-crime area, Martin said. He described the gangs as relatively new, small and less organized than traditional gangs. They are less likely to keep members in line.