StarTribune, July 2020
Until recently, Iglan Ahmed hadn’t seriously considered moving from the 2900 block of S. 18th Avenue. But when a 12-year-old boy shoved a handgun in her face during a robbery attempt outside her south Minneapolis home, the mother of eight decided that she’d had enough. “I’m scared for my life,” Ahmed said of the troubled block just north of Lake Street, which she says has turned into a haven for drug dealing and prostitution. “If no one is doing anything, there’s no way for me to live in this neighborhood.”
Ahmed and her neighbors say the block has become even less of a priority for police and City Hall after the unrest that followed George Floyd’s death in police custody, leading to calls to reimagine policing in the city. They say it’s one reason the area stands out as the city’s most notorious open-air drug market. And while some sympathize with the long-term goals of the “Defund MPD” movement, they say they’re facing a number of other issues that require more immediate attention.