Community control of Minneapolis police demanded at MN State Fair shutdown

By staff |
September 5, 2017
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#InjusticeOnAStick protest shuts down Minnesota State Fair.
#InjusticeOnAStick protest shuts down Minnesota State Fair. (Photo credit: Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN — On Sept. 3, a coalition of immigrant rights, anti-war and anti-police terror community organizations held the #InjusticeOnAStick protest at Hamline Park here. The protest had over 100 people in attendance. After the rally protesters then marched down Snelling Avenue towards the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. This marked the third year that the Minnesota anti-police terror and Black Lives Matter movement has shut down the Minnesota State Fair.

Endorsing organizations and speakers at the event included Monique Cullars-Doty, aunt of

Marcus Golden; AJ Jackson of AR14, Loretta Van Pelt of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, John Thompson of The New North, Sebastian Rivera of La Asamblea de Derechose Civiles, Dorian of Communities United Against Police Brutality, Kim Handy Jones, mother of Cordale Handy; Rhea Smykalski of the Anti-War Committee, Angel Buechner of Welfare Rights Committee, Jenny Srey of Release the Minnesota 8, Tenicia Gordon, sister of Jerome Gordon-Jackson; Tracy Colbert, and Matilda Smith, mother of Jaffort Smith.

At the protest, the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar (TCC4J) announced they will be demanding an all-civilian elected Minneapolis Police Accountability Council (MPAC). The Minneapolis Police Department was most recently responsible for the murder of Justine Damond, Jamar Clark, Fong Lee, Terrance Franklin and others.

The piecemeal reforms offered by both current and potential mayor and city council members do not address the systematic problems of the MPD, which have continued to go unchecked. MPAC’s goal would be to end the deadly cycle of police violence that's disproportionately perpetrated against Black, Latino, and working-class people in Minneapolis. MPAC would be comprised totally of civilians and current and former police officers would be prohibited from serving on it.

TCC4J, community members and activists will present talking points to mayoral and city council candidates during the coming months.

Loretta VanPelt TCC4J organizer said, “During TCC4J’s work demanding ‘No grand jury’ from Mike Freeman in the murder of Jamar Clark, we learned that our communities are the ones who hold the system accountable for its wrongs, not politicians. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the MPD. It is time for a new era in Minneapolis and Minnesota, we are tired of losing loved ones to police terror! We will take the knowledge from our community work and apply it to MPAC to demand true accountability from the MPD via community control.”