While filming a tense moment between Minneapolis Police officers and two men they held at gunpoint, Burhan Israfael Isaaq said, "Don't shoot my man, though," adding, moments later: "He doesn't have a gun."
They didn't, and he didn't. And the latter outcome has some who were there -- and many others who weren't -- wondering why cops were called to the scene in the first place.
Specifically, attention has turned to Nomad World Pub, whose owner Todd Smith was filmed in a subsequent clip, also by Isaaq, who alleged Smith was "drunk when he called these mercenaries on those young men."
City Pages attempted to reach Nomad for a response to the incident on Monday, and was told the business would have something to say "shortly," but never heard back.
Meanwhile, the incident has already cost the bar some business. Grrrl Scout, the popular queer dance party, canceled its event at the Nomad scheduled for this past Saturday, explaining the group could "not align ourselves with these actions," as calling police was responsible for the deaths of "too many" black people in the past.
"We have loved working with the majority of the staff at the Nomad over the years," reads Grrrl Scout's announcement. "They worked their asses off for us and made the space what it was. We consider them friends. They do not represent the ownership there."
Around 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, a caller to Minneapolis Police dispatch reported someone pointing a gun, according to police spokesman John Elder. Officers treated the report as "credible," and "responded to this high risk threat according to training and policy," Elder says.
As seen on Isaaq's video, that meant pulling their guns and commanding two men to lie face down on the ground, as bystanders watched.
The city of Minneapolis wants to increase police presence in the community where these “peace” officers terrorized these young black men. The white business owner of (Nomad world pub)called in the bogus “they have a gun” call. He damn near had these men killed. For nothing. pic.twitter.com/tS3e5ZWDGD— Burhan Ajuran Bel (@WEST_BankRR6) June 5, 2018
Elder says the original call had indicated there were three people, not the two the officers found sitting in a vehicle when they arrived; the alleged gun-waver was one of the two sitting in the vehicle.
"We don't know if a gun might have been taken off by this third person," Elder says. "Was this a false report? We don't know that, we don't have videotape of that entire area."
After searching both the men and the vehicle they'd been sitting in, and finding nothing of note, they were released, free to go.
"We got 'em up and squared away," Elder says. "Once it was determined a threat no longer existed, officers took care of the individuals at the scene, and tried to help them understand why we did what we did, and they were released."
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