Tuesday, December 01, 2015

An Update on #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation

There's an excellent counterpoint op-ed in today's Star Tribune by St. Paul writer Laura Jones which I share today along with updates on the #Justice4Jamar effort and its related 4th precinct occupation.

Protesters Need Support, Not Lectures

The shooting of peaceful Minneapolis protestors last week left me horrified. But the Star Tribune’s myopic editorial leaves me deeply disappointed (“Protecting Protesters in Wake of Shootings,” November 25).

Protests of police practices have become widespread in recent years, but this is the first time in recent memory that protestors have been shot at by apparent vigilantes. The incident should have prompted a strong editorial condemning the violence and calling on the public to stand with the victims. Instead, the Editorial Board took issue with the demands and tactics of the protestors, and called on them to scale back their protest.

News stories suggest that the attacks likely were racially motivated. Whatever the motives, protestors have been terrorized. Rather than ceding free speech to hateful vigilantes, the paper could call for increased support for the right to gather and protest. Political leaders, and the paper, should denounce without qualification hate crimes and racially targeted violence.

As for the safety of protestors, it is confusing to suggest that protesters would be less safe while outside the doors of a police precinct station. Shouldn’t that be one of the safest places? And how does it make sense for the paper to ask individuals to gather in daylight hours, when many work business shifts and the sun sets at 5 p.m.?

The paper also could do more to acknowledge the real tension between investigatory legal processes and the community’s legitimate need to know what happened. Last week’s release of chilling video of the execution of a black teen by a white Chicago police officer, which was suppressed for over a year, makes clear how horrifying the content can be. We need to acknowledge how critical that information is, and recognize that it is frequently community pressure that results in its public release.

The death of Jamar Clark and the shooting of community protestors has propelled the Twin Cities into the forefront of a national conversation around issues of racial justice and law enforcement. Now is the time to decisively condemn acts that terrorize peaceful protestors, to proclaim First Amendment rights, and to scrutinize policing practices that disproportionately impact — and even kill — black men in Minnesota and across the nation.

– Laura Jones
Star Tribune
December 1, 2015

Minneapolis Police Clear Out 4th Precinct Protest Site
– Jon Collins and Tim Nelson (MPR News, December 3, 2015).

Protesters Rally at City Hall
After Police Clear Fourth Precinct Encampment

– Erin Golden (Star Tribune, December 4, 2015).

Activists Decry Police Chief's Warning
as Clark Decision Looms

– Libor Jany and Randy Furst (Star Tribune, March 26, 2016).

Hundreds Gather at Downtown Minneapolis Protest
– Liz Sawyer (Star Tribune, March 26, 2016).

Prosecutor Won't Charge Cops
in Jamar Clark Shooting

MPR News Staff (MPR News, March 30, 2016).

Rayann Hayes, Alleged Jamar Clark Victim, Speaks Out:
"I Wasn't Jamar Clark's Girlfriend,
and He Didn't Break My Ankle"

– Mike Mullen (City Pages, April 1, 2016).

An Open Letter to
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman:
Evidence in Jamar Clark Case
Does Not Exonerate Officers

– Crystal Yakacki (Star Tribune, April 2, 2016).

Surprised by Mike Freeman’s Lies?
Ok, Now What?

– Ryan Williams-Virden
(Form Follows Function, April 2, 2016).

Can Cry for Justice in Clark Case
Cut Through Decades of Mistrust?

– Jon Tevlin (Star Tribune, April 3, 2016).

Expert: DNA No "Truth Serum"
Despite Conclusion in Clark Shooting

– Cathy Wurzer and Riham Feshir
(MPR News, April 6, 2016).

Policy Violations in the
Jamar Clark Case

– Rachel Wannarka and Jason Sole
(Jim Crow North, June 30, 2016).

Minneapolis Police: Internal Probe
Clears Cops in Jamar Clark Shooting

– MPR News Staff
(MPR News, October 21, 2016).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"We Are All One" – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Quote of the Day – November 25, 2015

Related Off-site Links:
How Black Lives Matter Came Back Stronger After White Supremacist Attacks – Celia Kutz (WagingNonViolence.org, November 30, 2015).
Protesters Say They Aren’t Leaving the 4th PrecinctWCCO News (November 30, 2015).
Minnesota's 1st Black Congressman Comes Under Fire from Protesters Whose Cause He Supports – Steve Karnowski (Associated Press via U.S. News, December 2, 2015).
No Easy Solutions in North Minneapolis – Jon Tevlin (Star Tribune, December 2, 2015).
Jamar Clark Case Highlights Quest for Transparency – Ruben Rosario (Pioneer Press, December 3, 2015).

Image: Michael J. Bayly (November 20, 2015).

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