On Saturday night, Shakopee police arrived at ValleyFair amusement park during its after-dark ValleyScare event to break up some fights. The officers turned on all the lights and told everyone to get out. Three people were cited for "minor offenses." Everyone else went home.
Since then, Twitter and Reddit have been hard at work trying to get to the bottom of what really happened.
Like the walleye your grandpa allegedly caught with a stick and a ball of twine when he was 6 years old, the incident gets bigger and more dangerous with every mention. First it was a “huge” group of Somali youth that “terrorized” innocent park-goers. Then it was “50+ people” with knives. Then “over 100” “stormed the gates and started attacking people.” Then it was an “Islamic jihadist terror attack.”
Then, on Tuesday, notorious alt-right provocateur (and person banned from Uber and Lyft for some outrageously anti-Muslim tweets) Laura Loomer vowed to set the record straight. She tweeted an “exclusive video” detailing what she says is the actual story of that night: That nearly 100 Somali men “mob rushed” ValleyScare and that law enforcement and eyewitnesses can back that up.
Viewed almost 75,000 times via Twitter, the video is mostly some shaky cellphone footage taken by a bystander showing people evacuating while police sirens go off in the background. It's accompanied by Loomer’s added touches of spooky music and some dire captions, since, according to her Twitter bio, she's a "journalist" (others prefer titles like "media personality," "activist," and "conspiracy theorist").
“The media covered up who carried out the fights and caused the evacuation and chaos, referring to them as ‘individuals,’” the captions read. “What the media covered up and never mentioned is the fact that the mob of fighters were Somali men.”
She also helpfully included her Paypal information so her viewers could support her “on the ground investigation in Minnesota.”
What Loomer’s video fails to mention is that law enforcement has already put out its account of what happened. A Facebook post published by the Shakopee Police Department on the night of the incident says officers responded to reports of “multiple fights” at the park, and that the number of people running around the park made the situation hard to get under control. So, they decided to get everyone out, with the help of officers from Shakopee and the “surrounding communities.”
A few important points from Shakopee PD’s post: There were no reported injuries; there was no evidence anyone had a weapon; three individuals were cited for “minor offenses.”
ValleyFair is considering beefing up its security for the rest of the fall season, which should be the end of the story -- except the Shakopee police started getting a lot of urgent questions about specifically what race the brawlers were. So, the police department provided some detail on that, too. “Multiple ethnicities” were involved. This wasn’t a “Somali riot,” and there was “no evidence” of any “gang affiliation” amongst the fighters.
Multiple ethnicities were involved. We did not remove any videos.— Shakopee Police (@ShakopeePD) September 26, 2018
Loomer isn’t buying it, though, and took to Twitter to stir the pot.
“Clearly the local media in Minnesota doesn’t want to do their job and report the truth.”