Minneapolis Protestors Occupy Police Precinct, Shut Down Highway After Police Kill Jamar Clark

by Kenrya Rankin Naase, ColorLines

Tue, Nov 17, 2015 4:59 PM EST

On November 15, 2015, at about 1 a.m., Minneapolis police shot Jamar Clark, an unarmed 24-year-old black man. Last night, hundreds of protestors shut down a major highway in a bid for justice.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau detailed officers’ account of the shooting during a press conference on Sunday. Two officers say they were called to break up a domestic dispute between Clark and his girlfriend, and that he was interfering as EMTs were caring for her. They maintain that Clark struggled with officers and one of them shot him in the head. He was not carrying a weapon. The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave. Police Chief Janeé Harteau said they were not wearing body cameras during the altercation—officers aren’t scheduled to receive them until 2016—but did not say if there is any other surveillance video available.

Witnesses say that not only was Clarke not struggling with officers when he was shot, but that he was in handcuffs and had been knocked on the ground before the shot was fired. Clark was brain dead when he arrived at the local hospital, and he was reportedly taken off life support on Monday night.

“From witness accounts, Jamar Clark was handcuffed and then shot in the head in front of dozens of witnesses,” Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds told members of the press. “Police essentially threw a corpse in the back of an ambulance, and put him on life support at the hospital. They pulled guns on witnesses and sprayed them with mace. They waited 45 minutes before asking people what had happened there. This is one of the worst examples of what we’ve seen, recently, with the execution of unarmed black men.”

Within hours of the shooting, hundreds of residents had gathered at the site of the shooting for a solidary march to the city’s nearby Fourth Precinct. That night, protestors—including those from the NAACP and Black Lives Matter Minneapolis—camped out outside the station, requesting the release of the shooting officer’s name and any available video of the death. The American Civil Liberties Union has also joined the call for transparency.

Yesterday, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges told press that she had written to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to request a federal investigation into the shooting. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s criminal investigation is already conducting its own investigation.

Last night, hundreds of activists shut down the northbound lanes of Interstate 94 for more than an hour. Forty-three adults and eight juveniles were arrested and charged with two misdemeanors: unlawful assembly and pedestrian on freeway. BLM Minneapolis posted on their Facebook page that everyone has been released. Activists are currently camped out outside the precinct and are planning to stay there until their demands are met.

BLM just posted a video that details the shutdown and the precinct occupation so far. Watch it [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][here].

(H/t KSTPUSA TodayMPR News)

Read the original story in ColorLines.

 

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February 12, 2019

FFJ Advisor Discussion Series: Marisa Franco

Marisa Franco, FFJ Field Advisor and Director and Co-founder of of Mijente, a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx and Chicanx organizing and movement building, speaks on the current political moment and how funders can contribute to movement work.

Tell us about the particular moment you are in with your work and place in the movement.

Entering into our fourth year, we are doing our best to be a vehicle to both respond to the real-time challenges our communities face and a place to find respite, connection, and replenished meaning. Given what the Latinx and Chicanx community faces, we’ve got to walk and chew gum at the same time (and hop on one leg, juggle, and balance something on our head!) but we believe that through the continued growth where organizers, healers, change-makers, designers, and disrupters feel Mijente is a place to meaningfully contribute to collective liberation means we are going in the right direction. It is my view that our most critical task at this time is growth and recruitment - millions of people are becoming exposed to the injustice and summarily wrong direction we are heading in - our organizations must be open and accessible entry points for people to contribute to moving us in the right direction.

How do you understand the political moment that we’re in? What do you think we need to do differently right now?

Ultimately I think that lots of what we reference as threats that are coming are largely here - crisis as a result of climate change is here, it’s being felt across the planet. The extreme backlash and attempt to re-entrench power due to demographic change is here, occurring in localities across the United States. Authoritarianism is a growing threat beyond Donald Trump and within the domestic United States. Given all of this, at the very least I think it’s critical we start to widen our panorama of political understanding to include outside of the United States and make the connections internationally. Rest assured, our adversaries are in coordination - we ignore our movement siblings and the struggle outside of the United States to our own detriment.

What should funders be understanding in this political moment? What should funders be doing to support organizations and movements?

What’s important to understand in this political moment is how the volatility impacts the plans, perspective, and morale of people in organizations and social movements. It has become more and more difficult to lay out plans that feel real given how normal it's become for so much to turn upside down pretty regularly. Some understanding and support of this from funders, particularly when it means proposed work is not carried out in the way it was initially described, is very helpful.

Continued support for rapid response tactics is critical, as well as funds that help convene key groups and/or leaders in this time goes a long way. In times like these, those that are able to adapt and move quickly are well positioned to make impactful changes. These folks have got to be able to do so with enough support and not too many hurdles, hoops, and paper to be able to move. So some of these existing practices around simplifying processes, making funds available for rapid response activities, and pop up convenings is something that has been helpful thus far and is important to continue.

December 10, 2018

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