Following the protests that stemmed from the killing of George Floyd by a city cop, the Minneapolis City Council pledged last month to begin the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department. But that plan has not sat well with citizens who have seen crime grow in their communities and want to know what will be done if they’re no longer able to count on the police.
Now a group of black peace activists is taking on the leadership of the city of Minneapolis over its push to dismantle the police.
The group held an “urgent news conference” Tuesday to raise their voices against the council’s plan, WCCO-TV reported.
One of the activists, Lisa Clemons, who is a former police officer and is now with “A Mother’s Love,” told reporters, “We cannot continue to watch these bullets flying through our community.”
For Clemons and her fellow advocates for peace, the time has come to “stand up” to the City Council and call its plan what it is: “B.S.”
“It is time for us to stand up in this city. It is time to tell the City Council that utopia is a bunch of B.S.,” Clemons said.
With the recent escalation in shootings in the city, she said Minneapolis is more like the Old West.
“We are not in Mayberry R.F.D.,” she said. “We are in the wild, wild, West, and it is time for some answers.”
Calling out a council member
Shortly after the news conference, Clemons was speaking to WCCO outside the venue when City Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins happen to pass by. The councilwoman was one of the members who voted to move closer to dismantling the police.
Clemons challenged Jenkins to come answer some questions, and Jenkins obliged.
When challenged on her position on dismantling the police, Jenkins said she knows the city still needs public safety officers, but the force needs to be “reimagined.”
“I want to reimagine a police force that responds to the community in a way that is respectful,” Jenkins said.
Clemons challenged Jenkins on the “recent surge in street violence.”
“My only response to that is we are going to have, we will have those conversations,” Jenkins replied. “We are in an emergency situation.”
Despite the council’s pledge to dismantle the police, ultimately any change would have to be voted on by the people of Minneapolis, WCCO noted.