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Minneapolis cop who shot at car full of young women is off the beat (for now)

Minneapolis police officer Efrem Hamilton fired a shot at four young women fleeing a fight.

Minneapolis police officer Efrem Hamilton fired a shot at four young women fleeing a fight. Star Tribune

Efrem Hamilton's career as a Minneapolis police officer hangs in the balance.

The Minneapolis Police Department is looking into Hamilton's conduct the night he fired his gun at a group of four innocent women who were, at the time, trying to get away from a dangerous situation. Instead they crashed right into another one: Hamilton.

Also interested in what happened that night, according to the Star Tribune: the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, which would be responsible for charging Hamilton if it's determined his actions in that moment are a criminal offense.

Bob Kroll, head of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, says Hamilton has been relieved of duties as of Wednesday "pending an investigation." Hamilton, who was previously on the standard administrative leave following such an incident, is expected to be interviewed about the night in question some time next week.

Hamilton raced to the scene of a 30-person bar-close brawl in downtown Minneapolis in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 19. The melee resulted in two men getting shot, one during the fight and one soon after; both survived their injuries.

A car full of young women attempting to flee the scene -- on the orders of a police officer, they say -- accidentally backed into Hamilton's squad car, and Hamilton fired his gun, striking the vehicle.

All four young women, who were visiting from Eden Prairie, escaped unharmed, though they were detained for questioning throughout the night. They later filed six formal complaints with the department, accusing Hamilton of an improper use of his weapon, endangering the lives of the women inside. 

Lou Wade, whose daughter Caylea was the driver that night, told City Pages the cop who shot at his daughter's car shouldn't have fired even if the car had contained four people involved in the fight. (It didn't.) 

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