They’re “vulnerable” victims and they’re being targeted and brutally beaten for things like their cellphones.

Now a series of videos showing mob-style attacks in downtown Minneapolis has gone viral.

Police told Fox News that it sparked an “incredible” investigation.  And that case led to the arrest of 16 people in connection with the videos who now  face assault and robbery charges, among others.

In one of the videos, you can see a mob pummeling a man just outside of the Minneapolis Twins’ stadium.


In the video you can see the attackers run to pick up speed and jump on the victim.  Then they ride a bike over him, strip him of his pants and beat him with a belt.  In the clip, you can see that he tries to defend himself but is totally outnumbered.

Another video shows two young men being attacked, getting punched in the face while trying to fight back.  One is knocked out cold.

A third video shows a young man surrounded by a mob and beaten unconscious… then robbed while he’s on the ground.

The videos all came out as Minneapolis struggles to deal with a massive shortage of police officers.  It’s resulted in the chief of police, Medaria Arradondo, requesting 400 additional officers over the next few years to make up for the shortage.

But members of Minneapolis’ City Council don’t want the money to go towards more cops and have instead argued it should go towards other law enforcement and safety programs.

The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, is on board with adding 14 additional officers to the force – and police say he’s been supportive of both the department and the new policing strategies in the city’s downtown.

Want to know how bad that shortage is?

Last year, the department was unable to immediately send a police car to 6,776 priority one emergencies.

Among those calls were shots fired, stabbings and sexual assaults.  

According to police, priority one calls involve “an imminent threat to personal safety, or the loss or damage to property exists.”

It gets worse.  There’s what’s called “priority zero” calls – of which police were unable to respond to seven of them.

They included a baby not breathing and a fellow officer facing imminent danger. Those calls, according to police,  “include those situations where a known crisis exists that threatens the life of an individual. This is the highest possible priority and the fastest possible response is desired. The MECC objective is to have squads en route to the call within 30 seconds of receipt by the dispatcher.”

“To have to look someone in the eye and tell them that we were unable to get there because we do not have enough resources – it’s unacceptable,” Andy Skoogman, the president of Minnesota Police Chiefs Association, told Fox News.

Alondra Cano is the chair of the city’s safety committee.  Cano said the city council acknowledges there is a crisis and promises it’s investing and diversifying its force to better represent the community.

“I do appreciate that the mayor has put forward an investment strategy in our department because we can’t walk around with the same broken department since the 1950s,” Cano told Fox News. “We’re thankful that the information is out in the open. We would rather have a truthful conversation than pretend like this isn’t happening.”

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Back in August, three NYPD police officers were hospitalized with injuries after a cop-hating mob in the Brooklyn housing projects attacked them during a party, the NY Post reported.

By the time it was over, eight people were in police custody for charges of disorderly conduct. 

Residents of the Marcy House projects were reportedly celebrating ‘Marcy Day’ by having barbecues and parties throughout much of the day. When fights broke out and things began to get out of control, police attempted to break up some of the unruly gathering. That’s when things turned violent.

“Everyone was just having their fun, no gang-banging… everyone sitting around, enjoying Marcy Day,” said a woman who lives in the Marcy Houses.

But when police attempted to get some of the larger crowds to disperse without success, some officers used pepper spray in an attempt to control the situation. 

pepper_spray_mob_brooklyn

Locals who were pepper sprayed in the crowd use milk to wash their eyes. (Instagram)

 

A number of videos posted to Instagram show a large police presence running in the direction of the commotion. One person can be overheard saying, “They’re about to shoot, I’m getting the f— out of here.”

 

Although no shots ended up being fired by police, bystanders and residents began throwing projectiles at the police, resulting in three officers being injured. 

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Some officers were struck by “air mail,” objects thrown down at cops from rooftops, police at the scene in Bedford-Stuyvesant told The Post. Some of the items included glass bottles, rocks and other projectiles.

Officers reported that after they had attempted to disperse the crowd using pepper spray, a number of gunshots rang out nearby. No injuries were reported from the gunfire, but the noise sent cops running toward the area. 

As the area descended into chaos, some people left the scene, but others only grew angrier. 

“Straight up cowards!” one man in the crowd shouted at cops at just after midnight. “You don’t know how to do anything you f–king coward!”

Police say that after they attempted to break up the crowd, roving mobs of cop-hating locals roamed the Brooklyn streets, continuing to follow and antagonize police officers in the area. 

It was reported that by early Sunday morning, eight people had been arrested for their role within the disorderly mob. 

 

Videos from Instagram showed the aftermath of the disturbance. The post read:

Just was in the middle of a riot on my way home from the deli. Cops beating people up, spraying people with mace, slamming people’s heads into car windshields.. i had permission to film the first guy pouring milk into his eyes, the concerned guy telling me to stop filming wasn’t aware.. but anyways #marcyprojects check out all the police running there was about 40 of them

update: someone was shooting at the cops from the roof across the street…

The battles against police rage on in New York just shortly after videos went viral showing locals dousing police with buckets of water. Tensions have been high within the city, prompting multiple violent outbursts against the NYPD by large crowds. 

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