The shock of a mass shooting in Uptown that left one man dead and 11 other people wounded had barely subsided Monday when multiple shootings elsewhere in the city swelled the number of casualties.
On Monday, the day three separate afternoon shootings on the North Side left nine people injured, Mayor Jacob Frey announced details behind a multiagency effort to quell the bloodshed that has persisted over the past several weeks.
Joining the Minneapolis Police Department will be virtually every law enforcement agency within reach: the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit police, and federal authorities from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and the Secret Service, according to the mayor.
“The violence and lawlessness that we’ve seen the last few days is not acceptable in any form,” Frey said. “Residents, businesses and all that choose to be in Minneapolis for any reason deserve to feel safe.”
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo declined to reveal how the other agencies will interact with his department, but he said it would include being a visible presence as well as providing intelligence.
Arradondo, the city’s first black police chief, made a point to remind the public that many of the gunshot victims “are members of the African-American community … young men. Their lives are not disposable. This cannot become our new normal.”
Police say 111 people have been shot in the four weeks since George Floyd was killed in an encounter with four Minneapolis police officers, setting up widespread civil unrest. Arradondo said he does not believe the Uptown shooting had any connection to Floyd’s death.
In the meantime, police spokesman John Elder said “we are making good headway” in the Uptown investigation.
There was no preliminary word on a motive or even how many shooters were involved in sparking the chaos while the area was bustling with activity now that bars and restaurants have loosened customer limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday afternoon saw police at three scenes of gunfire. Shortly after 2:30 p.m., ShotSpotter technology recorded the sound of 41 rounds at N. 16th and Newton avenues, police said. One person went to the hospital in critical condition, while three others came away with noncritical wounds. Then shortly after 4 p.m., four people suffered gunshot wounds in a commercial stretch in the 600 block of W. Broadway. Another person was injured by gunfire shortly before 7 p.m. at 25th Ave and 4th Street.
Two people were also stabbed, one fatally, in the 500 block of Nicollet downtown Monday afternoon.
Victim a husband, father
The man killed in this past weekend’s mass shooting in Uptown was remembered as a loving husband and father and gifted hairstylist.
Cody Pollard “had a talent no one else could possess,” said his brother Troy Pollard, who grew up with Cody in St. Paul.
A night out with a client took Cody Pollard, 27, to Uptown on Saturday, and it was just after midnight when gunfire erupted as the two were leaving Cowboy Slim’s for downtown Minneapolis.
Cody was hit and died that same day, leaving behind his wife, Quinesha Adams, 4-year-old son Ochean and baby Khodi, who joined their family early this year.
“His family was everything, and his kids were his prized possessions,” Troy Pollard said.
Cody Pollard took to cutting hair while watching his mother tend to the kids in their St. Paul home, Troy said.
“He started off cutting my hair,” Troy Pollard recalled. “I was his first test dummy.”
By age 15, he was jumping from shop to shop while honing his barber skills despite lacking a license. He kept up his grooming pursuits after moving to Norfolk, Va., as a high school sophomore to attend military school.
He and his wife have been raising their children in the University-Dale area of St. Paul. With his barber license secured, he was working at nearby Wrist Work Barber Lounge, a family-owned shop that hired him about a year ago.
Waiting for a haircut
On Saturday, before Cody Pollard left for Uptown and an evening of low-key socializing, he was supposed to give Troy a haircut.
“The boy had me waiting in his chair to get a cut while he was in Uptown,” Troy Pollard said. “He always forgets.”
But Troy’s fond recollection soon gave way to thoughts of Uptown’s mayhem stealing the younger brother he shared clothes with and who had a way of being his mentor.
“He always pushed me to have a plan,” he said. “My baby, I loved him so much.”