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Minneapolis cop shot at a car full of young women stuck in a downtown brawl

A downtown Minneapolis car accident nearly turned fatal.

A downtown Minneapolis car accident nearly turned fatal. Joey McLeiseter for the Star Tribune

A massive brawl between at least 30 people brought Minneapolis Police officers into the frenzy of downtown early Saturday morning.

The melee took place around bar close, and occurred just northeast of Target Field. As police arrived, two men fighting were shot. Both men were treated for non life-threatening injuries.

In the chaos of scattering bodies, a civilian car backing away from the scene collided with an officer's squad. For some reason, according to a Minneapolis Police Department news release, that officer shot his gun, hitting the side of the car.

"No one inside the vehicle was injured. The officer whose squad was struck was not hurt," accoridng to the release. 

A request for additional information has not been returned. Police say the incident is being looked into by its internal affairs unit.

On Monday, the occupants of that car have come forward to tell their side. They were four young women in their early 20s, all from Eden Prairie, according to Lou Wade, the father of the woman driving that night. Wade's daughter is of mixed race, as was one of her passengers; the other two passengers are white.

His daughter Caylea and her girlfriends went downtown on Friday to enjoy the city nightlife, he says, when fighting broke out near their car. 

The women were ordered by police to "Back up, get out of there," Wade says. They tried to. That's when another officer slammed into them from behind. Before they knew it, there was a gunshot. The women were detained and taken to jail, where they were questioned about whether they were a part of the brawl. They weren't released until after 3 in the morning, Wade says.

The car has been impounded by police. 

Wade says police told him the following morning that they had thought his daughter's car contained suspects involved in the fight who were trying to flee the scene. 

"Well," says Wade, "even if it was, why would you just start shooting into the car? Who does that?"

Wade continued: "But you were wrong, and now it was four girls from Eden Prairie. And you harassed the shit out of them. You just rattled [my duaghter] to the core, and then after you shot at her car, you keep her there and interrogate her like she’s a suspect. They didn’t do it right, the whole thing." 

Wade says he wants Minneapolis police to address what happened Saturday morning, and for the cop who fired at his daughter's crowded car to receive some form of discipline, even if he only shot his gun accidentally. Wade wants to retrieve the car so that he can see where it was struck. 

"We cannot have police officers like that on the force. It's going to be somebody else's daughter the next time, and it's not going to be pretty."

The four women and their families, along with activists from the  I.W.W. General Defense Committee, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice, and Black Lives Matter - St. Paul,  will protest the shooting at Minneapolis City Hall at 4:30 Monday afternoon.