After a late afternoon Nov 17, 2022 call from the Sandburg Middle School principal, Golden Valley police are investigating a Nov 11, 2022 incident involving a student who had a posted a Snapchat video showing himself with a firearm inside of a school bathroom.
Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green said he first learned about the incident at the Golden Valley School after being contacted by several news media outlets Nov 16, 2022. Green then contacted the Robbinsdale School District’s security director and superintendent’s office, where he learned the security director was also just hearing about the incident that had occurred five days earlier.
“As we worked to investigate the incident, the school refused turn over the Snapchat video, stating we would need to obtain a search warrant,” says Green. “This video isn’t property of the school district. It has been shared on social media by the student and others.”
Green said police were able to view the Snapchat video, which is less than six seconds long, late night Nov 17. “It shows a Black male student holding what appears to be an actual firearm, removing a magazine clip and reinserting that clip into the firearm,” explains Green. “The Golden Valley Police Department (GVPD) is working to verify the video was taken inside a bathroom at Sandburg Middle school.”
“I know many parents have questions and concerns surrounding this incident,” says Green. We also have those same questions and concerns and will be working to get answers.”
Green adds that it’s very important for parents to know what the law says about weapons on school campuses.
According to Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1d, it is generally a crime to possess a dangerous weapon, including a firearm, while knowingly on school property (felony). It is also a crime to possess (gross misdemeanor) or “brandish” (felony) a replica firearm or a BB gun while knowingly on school property.
According to Minn. Stat. section 121A.05, each school board must adopt a policy requiring the appropriate school official to report a student possessing an unlawful firearm to the criminal or juvenile justice systems as soon as practicable.
“This was not followed by the leadership at Sandburg Middle School,” says Green. “Almost five days later isn’t practicable.”
“It’s very important that our schools have a good partnership with GVPD and any local police department,” explains Green. “We are here to help support the school’s safety procedures for both students and staff. When these types of incidents occur, we need to be communicating with each other as soon as possible, so parents know we are doing everything possible to address issues when a firearm is brought on a school campus.”
Green says that once the GVPD completes its initial incident report, investigators will start interviewing the parties involved.