ST PAUL, Minn. — Twin Cities leaders are responding to the mass shootings that killed 49 people Thursday in New Zealand.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations' Minnesota branch held a press conference on Friday, condemning the attack and calling for "local and national action to push back against Isalmophobia, white supremacy and anti-immigrant bigotry in America and around the world."
A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for the attack. He said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist.
The St. Paul Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page on Friday saying, "The entire SPPD is incredibly saddened by the senseless violence that occurred in New Zealand. We want our Muslim family members, friends and neighbors to know that we'll do everything possible to keep you safe and secure in the city we share."
The SPPD went on to say that officers will make more frequent visits to local mosques and spend more time in the nearby areas.
Minneapolis police also said they are allocating more resources to keep area mosques safe.
"The Minneapolis Police Department, under the direction of Chief Arradondo, have cultivated strong relationships with our religious leaders in each community in Minneapolis. It is at times like this we draw on those relationships to continue dialogue on concerns and fears surrounding the tragic incidents that happened in New Zealand," Public Information Officer John Elder said in a statement.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter sent KARE 11 a statement saying, "The terrorist attack at two New Zealand mosques is heartbreaking. This tragedy that not only impacts those in Christchurch, but all of our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, and here in Saint Paul. Our Saint Paul Police Department is coordinating with other law enforcement partners and faith leaders to ensure that all in our community are safe. Together, we must fight extreme hate, with extreme love."
And Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, "Thousands of miles and oceans separate Minneapolis from New Zealand, but the tragic and senseless loss of life in Christchurch hits home. For generations, our Muslim brothers and sisters have made Minneapolis a better city. Today we hold the victims and their families in our hearts and grieve the toll hate has again exacted on an entire community."