Minneapolis Police Chief on Seizing Occupy-Backed Home: We’re Done With This Job

Dozens of Minneapolis police officers (and representatives from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office) stormed the Cruz family house in South Minneapolis yesterday and, in their third attempt, successfully took the foreclosed house from Occupy Homes protestors and boarded it up. Police held nearly 100 protestors at bay, despite a tense standoff that involved pushing and shoving.

Following the action, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan confirmed that the mortgage lender (he cited Fannie Mae, but meant Freddie Mac) and not PNC Bank (which originally serviced the loan) had called for the raid. Occupy Homes activists claim that Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank has shown a willingness to negotiate with the Cruz family, which is now effectively homeless.

Chief Dolan also implied that the City’s work was finished, and that Minneapolis would no longer expend resources to protect the Cruz home on behalf of Freddie Mac. Activists interpreted this to mean that the police was effectively adopting a moratorium on forced home evictions.

City statement on raid

The City issued this statement shortly after the raid:

“Minneapolis Police today secured a foreclosed home at 4044 Cedar Ave. S. by boarding it up. At the direction of Mayor Rybak, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal reached out to Freddie Mac to say that the City is not in the foreclosure business. “The City plays a limited role to protect public safety. The property is the responsibility of its owner,” said Segal. In this case, the City has fulfilled its legal obligation to secure the property.”

Watch this raw video of the standoff between police and Occupy Homes demonstrators yesterday:

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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