The City of Minneapolis plans to reopen George Floyd Square at 38th & Chicago, which community members have shut down since police killed Floyd at the intersection on May 25. The reopening won’t happen until after a verdict is rendered on former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is going on trial March 8 for second-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin will be tried separately from three other former Minneapolis police officers charged in aiding and abetting in Floyd’s death. The Minnesota Court of Appeals todayrejected an appealby prosecutors to delay the trial until later this summer and to try all four defendants together, the Star Tribune reported.
Gov. Tim Walz agreed to deploy the Minnesota National Guard to quell any unrest that might follow the trial, MPR reports. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul had sought the help.
Meanwhile, various groups are planning educational events and prayer vigils around the trial.
In an earlier post, I offered the question I would most like to ask in the upcoming presidential debates. If I got a second one, it would be this: “You both have denounced the recent street violence that erupted following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisc. Do you therefore also denounce the violence and property destruction of John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and the other organizers of the Boston Tea Party? Continue reading →
In the small northern Minnesota town of Bemidji, population 15,404, concerns spread among civic leaders in late May that violent activists from outside the area were coming to burn their city.
This was just days after George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of Minneapolis Police. Protests and uprisings were happening in large urban areas across the country.
Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel said that his office had received information that buses “filled with protestors were headed to Bemidji,” according to the Duluth News Tribune, “… extremist organizations planned to infiltrate the peaceful protests … including starting fires.”
Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht imposed evening curfews for the weekend of May 30 and 31.
Bemidji had good reason to worry — not about phantom arsonists but white supremacists escalating fear and tension. Continue reading →
Group says protests will expand if demands not met
People are pushing back on the city of Minneapolis’s efforts to reopen the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the site where police killed George Floyd, a black man, on May 25.
A group called Meet in the Streets has issued a five-page “Justice Resolution” to the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the state of Minnesota, listing 24 actions that they need to meet before the group will stop occupying “George Floyd Square.”
The demands are substantial — including the recall of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman for “abdicating his responsibility to prosecute white police officers who have murdered Black civilians.”
Four years ago yesterday, July 6, Philando Castile was shot dead by St. Anthony police after he was stopped for driving with a broken tail light.
One of the officers asked Castille for his drivers license and registration. Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm (which he had a license to carry.) When Castile reached for paperwork, an officer shot him seven times at close range.
Castile joined the growing list of black men killed by police.
Hundreds of people gathered at Luther Seminary for a Service of Prayer and Lament honoring Castile’s life, one of many such services. A particularly moving part was a reading by Afro Christian scholar Rev. Yolanda Pierce called “A Litany for those who aren’t ready for healing.”
I came across it again today. Given George Floyd’s murder and the events that followed, it seems like an appropriate to reprint it. Continue reading →
The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said most police officers “carry out their duties with honor”
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the anger over long-standing problems with police brutality has boiled over to the streets. It’s put the question of the police’s role in society squarely on the front burner. Some are pushing to abolish the police altogether.
In this deeply moral moment, religious communities are weighing in, issuing statements on Floyd’s murder.
Faith communities have played an important role in civil rights movements. Their voices could be powerful in pushing for greater police accountability. This blog will follow how they engage in this important work in the coming months.
What follows is a summary of some of the initial statements on Floyd’s murder, including links and short excerpts. For those of you who are part of one of these faith communities, this is an opportunity to push them to follow through on their commitments and then some.
This list is based on an Internet search and may not be complete. Please post links to statements we missed in the comment section below.