What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Samuels says city should focus on six crime families

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: August 26, 2013 - 4:51 PM

Outlining his public safety vision for Minneapolis Monday, mayoral candidate Don Samuels said his administration would aggressively target six families responsible for a large chunk of the city’s crime.

Samuels, who represents north Minneapolis on the City Council, said he would “knock on the doors of these six families” and offer them city resources to help them stabilize. Samuels said these extended families are run by warring groups of young people who took charge when elders went to prison.

Samuels said the pre-emptive measures would include parental education and job training for adults, as well as early education programs, mentoring, tutoring, summer jobs and camps for the younger family members.

If people refuse the offer, Samuels said, the city will “go to court” and tell the judge “what this person has turned down.”

“It’s going to be a lot of love, and it’s going to be – in case that doesn’t work – a lot of consequences. In equal proportions,” Samuels said at Farview Park. “Right now all we’re doing is consequences. And we can do much better at being preventive.”

In addition to targeting the families, Samuels proposed two initiatives intended to curb gun violence in Minneapolis.

He would ban gun shows on city property – namely the Minneapolis Convention Center – unless they perform background checks. To stem so-called “straw buyers” who purchase guns for others, he would push for a city ordinance requiring gun owners to immediately report guns lost or stolen.

He anticipated that the mandatory reporting would spur some “pushback” from groups like the National Rifle Association.

“I’ve stood up toe-to-toe with drug dealers on the corners with guns in their pockets,” Samuels said. “And I’m going to stand up toe-to-toe with gun lobbyists and the NRA with guns on their letterheads, and say ‘We are not going to wait any more for our national and state leaders to take initiative.’”

Samuels, whose campaign is co-chaired by former Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan, was joined at the press conference by Sami Rahamim, whose father was killed in the Accent Signage shooting, and John Souter, who was injured in that shooting.

Photo: Samuels with Rahamim and Souter.

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