St. Paul Police hold community meeting after alleged gang threats

10:43 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - About a 100 people showed up to a community meeting Thursday night called by St. Paul Police after threats were allegedly made by gang members against St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers.

Reports have police on heightened alert because of those threats. It stems from an incident last week when officers shot and killed an alleged gang member on the city's east side. Police say the suspect threatened their lives after they stopped him during a traffic stop.

It was the first of two officer-involved shootings on the same day where the two suspects were shot and killed. Officer Dan King was also shot. Police say he was released from the hospital Thursday.

At the meeting, neighbors had tough questions for police. Some who lived steps from where the shootings happened and had bullets fly through their homes were not happy with the increased violence or the efforts by police to curb it.

But most people seemed appreciative that St. Paul Police called the meeting.

"The police seem genuinely concerned and want to do their best to help out the community," said Mandy Griffin who works in the area.
Griffin runs an after school program and is concerned the violence will give the kids she works with in the neighborhood a bad name.

Some people said their neighbors did not even show up to the meeting with officers because of the alleged threats against police.

"The concern was, are we going to be safe or are we going to be a target for these alleged threats," said east side neighbor Greg Copeland.

Copeland said he came because he did not want fear to run his neighborhood.

Although police would not give specifics about the threats, they tried to calm people's fears. Police told the crowd they felt safe and so should the public.

"While there may be a fear out there because some of these reports that are out there. Some of that fear is allayed by the fact that a good example is what is happening here tonight," said St. Paul Police spokesperson Howie Padilla.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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