April 12, 2007

City Hall Personnel Surprisingly Helpful, MPD Website...not so much

The first thing I did when starting this assignment was to look up online exactly where to get a crime incident report. I went to the Minneapolis Police Department’s website and found out that I would have to go downtown to the MPD. After taking the bus I arrived at the supposed address, which turned out not to exist. After walking around the block a few times I spotted a small widow sign that read: Traffic Incident Reports. I went inside and inquired about my assignment. The very nice police officer told me through the Plexiglas window that I would have to go to city hall to find the information I was seeking. Luckily for me, city hall was only three blocks away. Upon arriving at city hall I was directed to Room 31. In the room there was a huge stack of listed crime reports from the past two months. I looked up burglary and assault reports from the Uptown area and printed them out. Finding the place was a bit tedious, but printing the reports was easy and only cost me 75 cents.
I found a report of a burglary at the Evolution Salon on Lyndale Avenue. I am familiar with this place so I may go there to try to get an interview about what happened. I also found an assault and a residential burglary on Girard Avenue. Girard is a mostly residential area, but the numbers of muggings that occur there have been increasing. Two months ago a man and his mother where mugged on Girard Avenue around 10p.m. after eating dinner at a nearby restaurant. According to an article I found on the Minnesota Public Radio website the victims surrendered their belongings willingly, yet the assailant still shot the man in head before taking off. I have two friends who also have been mugged in Uptown and even after giving up their wallets without resistance, they still both got beaten by their attacker. This trend of simple robbery turning violent is something I want to examine in my news feature.