Powderhorn Park residents hold community vigil in wake of recent assaultsby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Hundreds of Powderhorn Park residents gathered Wednesday night to show their solidarity with recent victims of sexual violence.
The vigil came in response to a series of armed robberies and sexual assaults in the area. Four teenagers have been charged with the crimes.
People held candles and sang around bonfires in Powderhorn Park, where one of the victims was assaulted after cross country skiing with two of her children.
Longtime resident Phil Adamo said the event was about reclaiming the neighborhood, not intimidating wrong-doers.
"I don't think this is some sort of deterrent that says 'we're always out here watching you, you bad guys,'" Adamo said. "But I think there's something else that happens when you're creating something constructive that can act as a deterrent, if you want to call it that."
Residents pledged to make the neighborhood safety by joining safety patrols, watching the streets, and spending time in the park.
Resident Corin Abert said the event made her feel safer.
"I think that by thinking something is dangerous and being scared of it you're only giving more power to what it is that dangerous," Abert said. "The community coming out tonight is a really awesome show of force in taking back the park."
Speakers included Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who told the group he was impressed by their show of strength and unity.