Best of Neighborhood News 7/5: MPD officers encouraged use of ketamine to sedate suspects

A new report indicates that the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has encouraged Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to use ketamine to sedate suspects, even in cases when the individual was already restrained and in cases when there was no evidence of any crime committed. The report states that the use of ketamine on those arrested has increased from three usages in 2012 to 67 in 2017. Ketamine is a powerful sedative drug that creates a trance-like state as well as inducing hallucinations and memory loss. “I would say fairly comfortably based on conversations I’ve had with folks [that] it is Black folks who are ‘noncompliant,’ that are being affected the most,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham. “That’s frustrating.”
Read more at The Spokesman-Recorder. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 6/27: More immigrants, refugees turning to congressional offices for assistance

Some constituents in Minnesota have been turning to congressional offices to speed immigration-related processes and services that normally take weeks, such as expediting applications, securing appointments and more. Congressional offices noticed this uptick of communications with immigrants and refugees immediately after the Jan. 2017 U.S. ban of travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. “We can help facilitate expedited processing for the necessary travel documents,” said Ben Hill, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s state director. “[This] technically takes weeks and we do it over the course of a day to get the things they need so that there’s no fear about gaining entry back into the country.”
Find out more in The Somali American. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 6/20: Minnesota Karen community leaders urge gov’t to reopen resettlement and reunite families

Minnesota is home to the largest Karen population in the U.S. with more than 10,000 refugees. However, many families still remain separated from each other as the federal government ended resettlement programs for Karen people in 2014, despite ongoing conflict in Burma. Karen community leaders in Minnesota are rallying and organizing in order to push for reunification efforts. “We want the government to open applications so our people can come to the U.S.,” said Morrison Johnny, a Karen community leader. “They need to reunite with their families in the U.S. as soon as possible.”

Get the full details at MinnPost. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 6/13: Indigenous Peoples Task Force launches suicide prevention program for Native youth

The Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF) has launched a new program to help prevent youth suicides. Native youth have the highest rate of suicide in comparison to youth of other racialized groups, and it is the greatest risk of death for Native people in this age group. Unlike other prevention programs in the state, the program is culturally specific and will focus on learning the signs of suicide and encouraging the community to lean on and support each other through honest communication about suicide and mental health. “It’s hard to think of a specific suicide prevention program in Minneapolis for Native youth. There are a variety of long standing programs in Minneapolis improving the health of Native youth, but suicide prevention isn’t talked about directly,” said Brenna Depies of IPTF. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 6/6: Marhaba Grill honors Muslim heritage, hosts iftar meals during Ramadan

At restaurant Marhaba Grill, Chef Mohamed Hegazi is cooking hearty iftar meals for those fasting during Ramadan. According to owner Mohamed Shehata, a recent buffet included selections such as duck, salmon, shrimp, lamb shank and stuffed cabbage. “People eat every single day and they don’t appreciate what God gives them,” said customer Abdi Nasir. “It teaches people patience and to be thankful for what they get.”
Meals will continue until Ramadan’s end on June 14. Find out more at Southwest Journal. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 5/30: Dayton vetoes increased protest penalties bill

Citing the language as too “vague,” Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a Republican-led bill that would increase penalties on individuals engaging in public protest such as blocking mass transit to the same level as those for fifth-degree assault and domestic abuse. House Democrats tended to express support for the veto, while Republicans were frustrated with the governor’s decision. Before the veto was announced, Rep. Raymond Dehn, DFL-Minneapolis stated that the proposed legislation would “[vilify] people that our systems are set up to disadvantage so that when they raise their voices and call attention, this [bill would] suppress those types of activities.”

Read more on this story at Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. New Mia art exhibition honors Philando Castile

An art exhibition at Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art) opening June 17 will remember Philando Castile, a man from St. Paul who was fatally shot by St. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 5/23: New juice bar on Northside centers black wellness

On Lowry, Got the Juice smoothie and juice bar opened with the hope to honor black culture and promote self-care and wellness within the community. The new juice bar is a collaboration between New Rules, a black-owned co-working space, and the Zen Bin, a health and wellness business that operates out of New Rules. “It’s a partnership. For us, it was about covering the health and wellness component of the ecosystem. Healthy food is something that the community asked for, what better way to introduce healthy food than juice and smoothies,” said New Rules President and CEO Chris Webley. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 5/16: Bill for harsher protest penalties approved by House, moves to Senate


A House bill would increase the penalty from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor for interference or obstruction with traffic exits, restricting passenger access to transit and more. The bill was created in Jan. 2017, in the context of several highway-blocking protests responding to police violence in the Twin Cities. “This bill says if you shut down the freeway, if you shut down the airport, you should go to jail because you are endangering the lives of other people in this state,” said Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood). “It’s not a part of your First Amendment right to endanger our children and to endanger the lives of other people.”

Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL-St. Continue Reading

Best of Neighborhood News 5/9: Indigenous People’s Task Force to build new center for art, healing in Phillips


Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF) has mainly focused their efforts on HIV care and education, and now they are moving toward including more programming for indigenous arts and healing with The Mikwanedun Audisookon Center for Art and Wellness. The new building would house facilities for health, education, art and traditional healing. “It begins with who we are,” said Sharon Day, Executive Director of IPTF. “We incorporate who we are as Indigenous people. We come from a people who have a ceremony for everything. Continue Reading

Community Voices: ‘Here we are, still going forward,’ Maria Garcia speaks on family, immigration and her auto repair shop in Minneapolis

Maria Garcia owns and operates her own auto repair shop in Northeast Minneapolis. In this video, Garcia tells the story of her family and her work, highlighting her experiences as a woman running a repair shop and as a mother, daughter and wife in an Ecuadorian immigrant family. “Many people come in and they say, no way, how is it that this woman is going strong but us men are struggling?”

Maria’s shop is located in Northeast Minneapolis at 2801 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418. You can schedule a repair and support Maria’s shop at 612-789-0186. Continue Reading