MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Members of the Twin Cities Somali community say they’re rattled after what they are calling an unsettling week. There have been several Somali-owned businesses that appear to have been the target of vandals.

Minneapolis Police say someone saw video shared on TV earlier this week and tipped them off. They made an arrest, but there is still unrest.

Franklin Street Deli is a place to shop, and a place to gather. Inside, the strong sense of community remains intact, but the outside is in shambles.

Owner Omar Gurase said he was told it will cost between $3,000 and $9,000 to fix damage to the store he’s proudly owned for 19 years.

“It is costing me a lot of money and I have to do it, no choice,” he said. “We are working hard and trying to make a living here, but we see this problem and it does not feel good for us. We don’t like it, nobody likes it.”

Gurase is one of several Somali-American business owners who were hit by vandalism. Another was a coffee shop in the Seward area.

WCCO obtained video of vandalism on Wednesday. After the video aired, a security guard spotted a man meeting the description, and police made an arrest.

“We’ve got to ask first why he did it, what is the purpose he did this to us, and why he’s targeting the community. I want to know seriously,” Gurase said. “Minneapolis Police tell me they are looking into a motive for this crime. I asked if they are investigating to see if this is a hate crime. They said absolutely they are looking into that.”

The Hennepin County attorney is reviewing the case to decide if they will officially file charges.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the victims.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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