Crime trends improve overall in North Minneapolis - New York News

Crime trends improve overall in North Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Though it may seem like there are a lot of stories highlighting crime on the north side of Minneapolis, overall trends have been improving -- and there's a lot more to the story than the numbers.

On Wednesday, an ice cream truck playing "It's a Small World" drove past the home where a 5-year-old boy was killed -- and not a single child ran out to greet it. Yet, just around the corner, children were at play at a church barbeque, creating a picture-perfect image of summer in the city.

Crime on the north side is still a mixed bag. Nizzel George's death marked the seventh homicide of the year -- but a few years ago, that number was already at 14 by this point.

While violent crime is up 15 percent so far this year, it's still down 7 percent from two years ago; although, the numbers seem meaningless when children are killing children.

The dynamic of violent crime has changed. Lt. Rick Zimmerman, with the homicide department, told FOX 9 News that unlike in 1997 -- when the city was dubbed "Murderapolis -- there are no longer organized gangs fighting over drugs and turf. Instead, the violence is usually coming from young teens that appear to be pulling the trigger over trifles.

Beyond crime, there are chronic problems in the area that few like to talk about: Teen mothers, absent fathers and a lack of jobs. Still, there are assets in the area too.

"We are a neighborhood of people who own homes, neighborhood of people who go to work, neighborhood of people who care about our community" said Jeff Nehrbass, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran.

According to Nehrbass, the worst thing that could happen is pretending that crime in the city is just a problem for them and not a problem for everyone. After all, what affects north Minneapolis impacts the city as a whole -- and it truly is a small world.

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