In the dark of night, Hennepin County Sheriff’s officers raided a foreclosed Minneapolis home that is being “defended” by Occupy Minnesota according to the group.
Occupy says five people were arrested, but the a crowd of fifty people prevented the officers from evicting them from the house.
This is the Hennepin County Sheriff’s second attempt in 48 hours to evict people from the home.
PNC Bank originally owned the house (though lender Freddie Mac holds the title now) and Occupy Homes claims that the Pittsburgh-based bank has shown signs of willingness to negotiate a new mortgage with the Alejandra and David Cruz family. Occupy believes that only PNC Bank, and not Freddie Mac, can renegotiate the mortgage terms.
Sheriff’s deputies tried twice this week to evict Occupy Minnesota supporters from a foreclosed home they were defending.
On Wednesday, aggressive efforts of Occupy Minnesota foiled a 4:00 PM sheriff’s raid on the foreclosed home of the Cruz family. The deputies retreated.
On Friday they returned again at 4:00 AM, armed with battering rams, jack hammers and massive bolt cutters. There were about a dozen occupy volunteers sleeping at the house. All but two were ordered outside – the two couldn’t find their shoes. The five people secured to the building were forcibly removed and arrested, currently held until Tuesday morning.
Again the sheriff’s crew was driven back by the occupy volunteers who came up the alley and entered the back of the house. The deputies retreated with their prisoners leaving the home is shambles.
A rally in front of City hall at noon on May 25, featured the broken door and speeches by supporters including three members of the Minneapolis City Council. The door was then delivered to Sheriff Stanek’s Office in City Hall. The sheriff declined to meet with the demonstrators. The broken door was left at the front door of his office. A major source of frustration was that the bank was working with the Cruz family to clear up the situation and renew the mortgage. The sheriff’s actions cut across this progress and was seen as unnecessary and punitive by those close to the situation.