2 People Injured in Brawl at Minneapolis Democrat Convention
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A brawl broke out over nominations for Minneapolis City Council candidates, leaving at least two people injured, a newspaper reported.
The scuffle arose during the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party’s endorsing convention for Minneapolis Ward 10, held Saturday at a magnet school in the city, the Star Tribune reported.
Video posted on social media showed the disturbance began after supporters of Minneapolis Council Member Aisha Chughtai took the stage, which caused an uproar among supporters of her challenger, Nasri Warsame. Some Warsame supporters jumped on stage, shouting, banging on tables and waving signs, the paper reported.
Convention chair Sam Doten called the behavior embarrassing and adjourned the event without a nominee being chosen, saying it was no longer safe.
At least one person was treated at a hospital for injuries that were not believed to be life threatening, the newspaper said. A second person was treated at the scene.
No arrests were made, Minneapolis police spokesman Brian Feintech told the newspaper.
Chughtai said in a statement on her website that more than a dozen of her supporters and DFL volunteers were assaulted, claiming Warsame delegates “charged the stage assaulting me and my supporters as I was about to begin my convention speech.”
Warsame said in a Facebook post afterward that his campaign manager was assaulted by a staff member of the Chughtai campaign, according to the newspaper report.
Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday evening that “the assaults and violence at the Ward 10 convention were perpetrated by supporters of Nasri Warsame.” Martin denounced the violence and apologized to Chughtai and her supporters and staff.
“Harassment and violence are unacceptable, and we expect candidates and their campaign teams to work hard to curb such behavior when it comes from their supporters, staffers, or volunteers,” Martin said. “Warsame and his team took the opposite approach at today’s convention by escalating the situation and encouraging conflict.”
Martin said on Twitter that he plans to call an emergency meeting to consider banning anyone involved in the assaults from the DFL Party, but he didn't say how quickly that might happen.
The Minnesota DFL is an affiliate of the National Democratic Party.