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Expect a big law enforcement and military presence in Minneapolis next week. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

City officials said 140 Minneapolis businesses were hit by a "crime spree" that took place as law enforcement were responding to protests in Brooklyn Center earlier this week.

  • The activity has business owners, already on edge about the trial, even more concerned.

Details: Businesses across the city were burglarized, vandalized and looted, said Erik Hansen, director of economic policy and development for Minneapolis. Cell phone stores, gas stations, pharmacies, liquor stores and tobacco shops were the most commonly hit.

It was crime of opportunity, Hansen said, as people took advantage of civil unrest in Brooklyn Center, where businesses were also hit.

  • "Many of the businesses are in areas where unrest impacted them last year and a number of them are just getting back on their feet," Hansen said at a Thursday news conference.

The bottom line: Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he doesn’t want the city re-traumatized after what happened last year.

  • National Guard units are already posting up in the city.
  • "As we get into verdict time, there’s going to be much more of a presence out there," Arradondo said.
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Go deeper

Updated Apr 15, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Daunte Wright protests reignite debate over police response to unrest

Police in riot gear toss a projectile at protesters in Brooklyn Park on April 11. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ongoing protests over Daunte Wright's death have renewed debate over the tactics police use to control crowds and respond to civil unrest.

Driving the news: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered for a fourth straight night in Brooklyn Center Wednesday. Law enforcement used flash-bang grenades and pepper balls to disperse the crowd as a 10 p.m. curfew set in.

The state of play: Law enforcement officials say the tactics are necessary to restore order and protect residents and property when peaceful protests begin to devolve, but activists in Minnesota and beyond say the "militarized" response is overly aggressive, dangerous and actually risks inciting more violence.

Updated Apr 15, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: 4th night of Twin Cities protests after Daunte Wright shooting

Demonstrators protesting the April 11 death of Daunte Wright use umbrellas for protection from pepper spray and rubber bullets outside the Brooklyn Center police station on April 14.

Brooklyn Center officials imposed a curfew for a fourth straight day Wednesday, as law enforcement and demonstrators protesting the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright faced off into the night.

The big picture: The Star Tribune reports the scene was calmer than previous nights, with most protesters leaving by 10:30p.m after an unlawful assembly was declared and dispersal orders issued. Police deployed "occasional gas canisters" and sprayed chemicals at protesters who neared the police station fence, and some demonstrators threw objects, AP notes.

Exclusive: Small business funding confidence sinks

Reproduced from Qualtrics for QuickBooks survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Small business owners are less confident about their ability to get a loan — a drop-off that's worst among Hispanic-owned businesses, according to a new survey by Quickbooks.

Why it matters: Small businesses hard hit by the pandemic will need funding to stay afloat as the economy continues to recover.