More than 100 vehicles were pulled over this weekend as part of a crackdown on drag racing in downtown Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs.
Authorities issued 29 citations and booked 22 people as part of the collective effort with area law enforcement agencies to stop drag racers. A dozen firearms were recovered, one person was caught driving under the influence and four others were nabbed for fleeing charges.
“To be clear, these are NOT joy riders. They’re extremely dangerous and highly destructive,” the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office said on social media.
Back in July, Sheriff Dave Hutchinson was asked how his office planned to address drag racing on Park and Portland avenues. Last month, Minneapolis police used fire hydrants to flood downtown streets to deter drag racing.
John Elder, Minneapolis police spokesman, said drag racing “really spiked over the summer,” but authorities started seeing it in early spring before the death of George Floyd. “It continued to become more populated and aggressive as the summer wore on,” Elder said, adding that he doesn’t believe the uptick is directly related to the unrest after Floyd died.
Elder said authorities see drag racing every summer, but this year it’s been “more egregious.”
“This is not about hot rodding, but in fact about people just behaving badly and making a dangerous environment and damaging property,” he said. “We will continue to do these details until these behaviors stop.”
Metro Transit, the State Patrol, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and police departments from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Brooklyn Park formed the partnership in a response to the increase in street racing.
Elder said other suburbs seeing more drag racing include Brooklyn Park, St. Louis Park and Roseville, among others.