A Minneapolis citizen who is living in a neighborhood where citizens are swearing off the police expressed regret to The New York Times for calling the cops on two black teenage boys after they mugged him at gunpoint.
Mitchell Erickson called 911 out of reflex recently after the two boys cornered him outside of his home a block away from Powderhorn Park, a park nearby his house that has become an encampment for homeless people, the Times reported Wednesday.
One of the boys reportedly pointed a gun at Erickson and demanded he give them his car keys. He gave them his house keys instead, and they became flustered and ran off.
Erickson and his other neighbors are reportedly weaning off police protection.
There are roughly 300 new homeless residents who are now calling the Powderhorn Park home, according to TheNYT report, which highlights the plight of other residents in Erickson’s neighborhood.
“Been thinking more about it,” Erickson wrote in a text to a Times 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.”
Erickson’s move also comes on the heels of nationwide demonstrations against the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in May after former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly 9-minutes, a video of the incident shows. Chauvin was immediately fired and faces second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
“Defund the police” became a common slogan among protesters and left-wing figures as the demonstrations continued. The Minneapolis City Council voted on June 12 to “dismantle” the city police department as a way to solve what activists believe is rampant police brutality.
“Yeah I know and yeah it was scary but the cops didn’t really have much to add after I called them,” Erickson said in response to the reporter’s question about what would have happened if he had been shot. “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.”
Erickson said later that he would not cooperate with prosecutors, according to paper. Despite his regrets, Erickson still feels it was the correct move to alert the authorities because there was a gun involved.
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