Residents of a north Minneapolis neighborhood sharply criticized city officials on social media for failing to clean up blood from a sidewalk where a mortally wounded teenager was found on New Year's Day.
Ahkeem D. Robinson, 18, of Big Lake, Minn., died later at a nearby hospital. His killing, the city's first of 2018, remains unsolved.
Almost as soon as police officers left the scene, images started popping up on True North Minneapolis, a Facebook page where residents air gripes about problems and crime in their neighborhoods.
"CHILDREN WALKING THROUGH AN OPEN BLOODY GRAVE, BECAUSE THE CITY DOES NOT FIND VALUE IN CLEANING UP AFTER WE ARE KILLED HERE IN NORTH MINNEAPOLIS," blared one post by the page's founder, Philip Murphy.
The post accompanied a video of a small child trekking through a patch of blood-spattered snow.
Another commenter said she hoped the post "brings attention and solid results!" Others complained that the blood still hadn't been cleaned up three days after the incident.
Officers were called to the 3000 block of Fremont Avenue N. shortly before 2 a.m. New Year's Day, where they found Robinson lying on the sidewalk, bleeding profusely. He had been stabbed in the left shoulder and armpit, police said, adding that they didn't know the motive for the attack.
Robinson was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he was pronounced dead just over an hour later. No suspects have been named or weapons recovered.
Soon after the ambulance left, firefighters were called in, as they typically are, to clean up the blood off the pavement near where Robinson was found.
Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said they tried to clean up the scene with bleach but couldn't because the sidewalk was frozen over by overnight temperatures that bottomed out at 11 degrees below zero.
Instead, the blood had been covered with sand, he said, while the Fire Department waited for delivery of a propane torch to melt the sidewalk ice.
"I don't believe there's a danger," Tyner said, insisting that blood-borne pathogens would have been destroyed by the plunging temperatures. "With that being said, it still doesn't look good."
Cleanup was completed Thursday.
Newly elected Council Member Phillipe Cunningham commented on the post Thursday, writing that he had reached out to his colleague Jeremiah Ellison — whose ward includes the Folwell neighborhood, where the slaying occurred — and Fourth Precinct inspector Aaron Biard about "this and also the crime scene clean up process, in general."
"This isn't the first time we've seen this happen (bloody gauze and IV bags at the YMCA over the summer for example), so I'm looking into it now to stop this terrible oversight from continuing," Cunningham posted.