'It Is Time to Stand Up': More Black Leaders in Minneapolis Voice Opposition to 'Defund the Police' Plan

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

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I wrote earlier this week about how Black leaders in Minneapolis were hitting the brakes on the city council’s plan to defund the police in the city.

Among the reasons cited by those leaders was the fact that none of them were consulted on the plan before the city’s vote. “We have not been consulted as the city makes its decisions, even though our community is the one most heavily impacted by both police violence and community violence,” civil rights attorney and former Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy Armstrong told the Star Tribune.

Urban League Twin Cities CEO/president Steven Belton told them that although the Black community is “subjected to excessive police use of force … at the same time we are also disproportionately victims of crime and witnesses of crime. And you cannot talk defunding the police if there is not a concomitant strategy of community safety in place as well.”

Others pointed to the fact that the city’s first Black police chief, Medaria Arradondo, is someone who the Black community trusted and could work with.

Fast forward to a few days later, and more Black leaders in Minneapolis are going public with their opposition to the city’s desire to defund the police, especially at a time when violent crime in the city is on the rise:

Lisa Clemons is a former officer and a peace activist with “A Mother’s Love.” She said to a crowd of reporters, “We cannot have bullets continue to fly in our community.”

A panel of African-American violence prevention advocates held what they call an emergency news conference to speak against the city council’s push to dismantle the police department.

“It is time to stand up in this city, it is time to tell the city council that utopia is a bunch of B.S. We are not in Mayberry we are in the wild wild west and it is time for some answers,” Clemons said.

It just so happened that while Clemons was speaking to the media that she saw council member Andrea Jenkins and invited her to speak about the violence in the city and calls to defund the police:

“My only response to that is we are going to have, we will have those conversations, we are in an emergency situation,” Jenkins added.

Jenkins says she wants more unarmed responders at domestic violence and mental health calls.

Clemons says there needs to be more funding to mentoring programs and she’ll be happy to sit at the discussion table.

“That’s exactly what I’m proposing, work together, come up with reforms,” Jenkins said.

Watch the video below and you’ll see that Jenkins clearly looks uncomfortable talking about defunding the police in front of Clemons and explaining her position on camera, and could not get away fast enough:

Here’s another video from CBS Minneapolis that shows more comments from the African-American violence prevention advocates who participated in the emergency presser:

The process to defund the police in Minneapolis involves more than just the city council’s vote, as KARE11 explained here. It would also involve the Minneapolis Charter Commission, the Mayor (who has already said no to defunding), and, ultimately voters.

Unlike what’s currently happening in Seattle, it sounds as though cooler heads are prevailing in Minneapolis, though no thanks to the hypocrites on the city council who voted for defunding in the first place.

(Hat tip: The Blaze)