MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Gunshots ring out every day in one Minneapolis neighborhood. The trauma it’s causing has pushed one boots-on-the-ground group to show up at hotspots demanding action to end the violence.
Crowds gathered in several spots across north Minneapolis considered breeding grounds for gun violence.READ MORE: Minneapolis City Council Approves $5M In Overtime For Police Department
“This sign represents the businesses in our community who are complicit in the violence that is happening in our community, masquerading as corner stores,” said Lisa Clemons, holding up a list. “These are the primary locations where our kids are hanging out, where they are fighting, where they are dealing drugs, buying drugs, shooting dice and eventually shooting and killing each other.”
Clemons, from A Mother’s Love, says she’s done talking about the issue. Her plan is to attack the issue at its core by showing up to disperse the crowds.
“I’m talking about a wall of mothers blocking your business because you don’t understand the pain we feel as mothers when we bury those children because you continue to make a profit off of our poverty,” she said.
The city of Minneapolis considers the shootings a “public health issue.”READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: Huge Hail Chunks Batter Southeastern Communities; Brush Fire Risk Intensifies Friday
“We regard violence as a public health issue and think of it as something as preventable and are working on doing that through our office of violence prevention,” said Gretchen Musicant, Commissioner of Health for the City of Minneapolis.
Beginning June 1, the city will roll out its plan of attack.
“We want to help people have less traumatic lives by reducing the violence, but also help people to deal with the trauma they are experiencing,” said Musicant.
Plans include using Violence Interrupters as well as other organizations the city has funded to address trauma in communities across the city. But for Clemons, too many lives are being lost to wait. She is calling for community help to put her plan into play.
“It’s time for mothers in the community to come out of the house and take back their community for their kids and for future generations. We need fathers to come and build a wall of protection around the mothers while we fight for our children. That’s what we need from them,” she said.MORE NEWS: Mpls. City Council President Lisa Bender On Costly Police Misconduct Settlements: 'This Is A Whole System Problem'
Clemons says her immediate plan includes asking store owners how they plan to invest in the youth instead of harboring what she calls their bad actions.