Minneapolis Park Police say that a juvenile was sexually assaulted late Thursday night in one of the homeless encampments inside Powderhorn Park, where neighbors have boycotted the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
According to WCCO-TV, the child was transported to Abbott Northwestern Hospital early Friday morning, but the individuals who took him there did not call the police. Upon the child’s arrival, staff at the hospital notified law enforcement.
KSTP-TV reports that authorities are now investigating the incident but have not made an arrest nor identified a suspect due to little information being available.
It was not immediately clear whether the child had been living in the encampment or if an abduction had occurred.
Police are asking anyone with more information to call the police.
The neighborhood boycotted the police
Residents of the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, which was described by the New York Times in a report last week as “a haven to leftist activists and bohemian artists,” vowed not to involve police as a way to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Many residents said they would look the other way regarding property damage, even to their own homes.
But the report found that many residents in the neighborhood have found it difficult to keep stand by their virtue-signaling pledge as the park has quickly become overrun by crime and homeless in recent weeks.
Hundreds of new homeless residents displaced by unrest in the city have taken up shelter at the park, which some are now referring to as the “Powderhorn Park Sanctuary.”
One resident even expressed “regret” to a Times reporter for breaking his pledge and calling the police after he was mugged at gunpoint by two black teenagers.
“Been thinking more about it,” the resident wrote in a text to the reporter. “I regret calling the police. It was my instinct but I wish it hadn’t been. I put those boys in danger of death by calling the cops.”
When the reporter made mention that the boys put his life in danger, the resident replied, “Yeah I know and yeah, it was scary but the cops didn’t really have much to add after I called them. I haven’t been forced to think like this before. So I would have lost my car. So what? At least no one would have been killed.”
Author: Phil Shiver