We demand accountability, transparency, and justice.

On Wednesday, St. Paul City Councilor Mitra Jalali shared an image of the day’s headlines, saying, “Here’s the status quo in 1 page. Over-investment in policing w/o accountability or connection to results, under-investment in youth/supports that keep all safe. Tremendous human and taxpayer cost dealing w/the fallout. I am hurt and tired. Our communities deserve so much better.” 

Mitra is right. The past few days have demonstrated (again) the violence and dysfunction of our broken, interconnected public safety systems from the City and County to the State.

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Police Department murdered Amir Locke, and are already obfuscating their role in his death. From what we know, the nine-second ordeal echos the police murder of Breonna Taylor. We’re heartbroken for the loved ones of Amir Locke and we demand better for Minneapolis.

On Tuesday, Jahmari Rice, a fifteen year old student, was shot and died outside his Richfield High School. Our hearts are grieving with his family, loved ones, and peers. 

On Monday, a long-overdue report finally confirmed that MPD’s charter-mandated staffing requirements are unnecessary and ineffective. The report was released the same day that Vogue published a puff piece on Minneapolis “strong” mayor, Jacob Frey – who ran his most recent campaign based on fear tactics and empty promises supporting the status quo.

Overinvestment in policing. Underinvestment in youth. Our Black neighbors, friends and family are losing their lives and loved ones to a violent and racist system. And an absolute failure in leadership from those who have the power and responsibility to keep us safe. While Frey strives to present himself as a traumatized victim of the events of the past two years, we know the truth. He has always had complete authority over the Minneapolis Police Department, long before Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in May of 2020.

Frey oversaw the department when they tried to dodge accountability by claiming that Floyd had died from a “medical emergency,” and he was ultimately responsible for the officers who hunted and brutalized protesters in the wake of Floyd’s death. (Remember: only two officers have been disciplined for their actions during the uprising; one was a whistleblower who spoke to reporters about toxic department culture.)

While some politicians may rely on cynicism and fear-mongering to scare people into voting for them, it’s important to remember that violence is never inevitable, and that transparency and accountability are the bare minimum we expect from elected officials who ask to take on the responsibility of leadership. 

We deserve to know why police officers broke into a man’s apartment in the early hours of the morning, and we deserve access to body camera footage to understand what transpired in the nine seconds before they stole his life. We deserve to know the context of their actions, and we deserve to know how the elected officials who claim to be shocked and horrified by Wednesday’s events will hold those responsible accountable.

We deserve actual leadership and public oversight of our public safety system, not meaningless closed door work groups on public safety and people in wealthy neighborhoods bankrolling their own police patrols

And we deserve so much more. We deserve a public safety system that doesn’t treat police murders as inescapable tragedies or as the cost of business as usual. We deserve de-escalation, violence prevention, and proactive care – services that would have been prioritized if Frey had supported last year’s Black-led efforts to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a fully funded Department of Public Safety. 

In Minnesota, we don’t need any more traumatic reminders that our public safety systems don’t work. Like Jamar Clark, Thurman Blevins, Philando Castille, George Floyd, Dolal Idd, Daunte Wright, and Winston Smith, Amir Locke and Jahmari Rice should be alive today – but we know that our systems of policing and public safety were never designed to protect them or keep them safe. When a system is designed to maintain white supremacy through violent oppression, it can’t be fixed by propaganda or performative reforms. 

Mayor Jacob Frey has exclusive control over the Minneapolis Police Department. Call him now and tell him to release the body camera footage immediately: 612-673-2100.  

We’re ready to invest in the proactive systems of safety and care that every Minnesotan deserves, and to divest from reactionary, oppressive violence. More people in Minneapolis voted Yes for a new Department of Public Safety than for Mayor Frey. There is a will for change–and an imperative for justice. It’s up to all of us. 

Posted in Our Blog

Join Us

The problems we face are bigger than one campaign, one issue, or one election.

We need a statewide, multiracial movement to change who decides and who benefits in Minnesota. And we need you to be part of that.

Join us. Let us know what you're interested in and we will get you connected with our work.