Police in Minneapolis and St. Paul are on high alert after they received threats that an officer would be killed in retaliation for an officer-involved shooting that left a known drug dealer dead.
The departments are taking the threats very seriously are urging officers to be careful.
According to St. Paul City Councilman Dan Bostrom, several credible sources have reported that gang members are threatening to kill an officer in retaliation for the death of Victor Gaddy, who was shot and killed by police last week.
Minneapolis police officers had asked St. Paul police to stop Gaddy's vehicle because they believed he was on a trip to sell cocaine; however, when squads tried to stop his car, police say he began ramming police vehicles and officers opened fire. Gaddy died at the scene.
Sources say Gaddy was nicknamed "Gov," which meant he was the top member of the Gangster Disciples in Minnesota -- and they say fellow gang members from as far away as Illinois and Indiana may be coming to town to look for payback.
"It doesn't surprise me, knowing what these gang bangers are capable of," said Bostrom, a former member of the St. Paul Police Department.
Now, officials say every marked squad could be a moving target if the gang members seek revenge.
"Those people can't hide and still respond to calls 24 hours a day," Bostrom said. "People need help and will continue to need help."
Yet, the officer-involved shooting didn't sit well with many in the neighborhood, and community activist K.G. Wilson -- a former Gangster Disciples member himself -- questions the credibility of the alleged threat that led officers to open fire in the first place. He also worries that the threats could lead police to target young African American men.
"You have a community in an uproar right now," Wilson said. "They are afraid of their young children being shot and killed on the street because of this viscous lie and rumor going on in the community right now."
But Bostrom remembers when Officer Jim Sackett was shot by a sniper while responding to a bogus police call in the 1970s, and when Officer Jerry Haaf was gunned down by gang members at the Pizza Shack in south Minneapolis in the early 90s. Now, he wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"It makes you keenly aware of just how dangerous this is," he said. "I thank God every night for the men and women who put that badge on and go out there and protect this city."
Police urge members of the public to report anything suspicious.