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(en) Daybreak #3 - Angry Residents Riot As Cops Murder Again!

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://free.freespeech.org/mn/daybreak!/article1.html)
Date Sun, 17 Nov 2002 02:48:31 -0500 (EST)


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The Jordan neighborhood on the North Side
of Minneapolis exploded in rage on the
night  of  Thursday  August  22nd  when
Minneapolis Police shot an 11-year-old boy
during an alleged drug raid. According to
bystanders, the police rolled up to the house
with  weapons  drawn  and  immediately
opened fire with MP-5 submachine guns
(supposedly) at a dog that was being held
by a leash near where the boy was standing.
"He [Julius] is a little kid, he was shocked,"
Toney Powell said. "Then the dog just
stood there barking and the cop just came
up from the ground with the gun shooting,
'bap-bap-bap-bap-bap!' Then [Julius] fell
and hit the ground shaking."
The police began gathering at the scene of
their crime but were confronted by hun-
dreds of angry residents who taunted and
attacked them with bottles and debris, forc-
ing them to retreat outside the neighbor-
hood. The crowd then began an assault on
the abandoned corporate media, beating
them and throwing rocks and bottles at
reporters and their vehicles. At least five
vehicles were damaged, including a torched
news van, and 10 people were injured. The
riots continued throughout the early morn-
ing. Four people were arrested.
The shooting came in the wake of 3 other
high-profile police murders of black people
during the month (as well as a number of
other  police  killings  in  St  Paul,  most
notably of 3 mentally handicapped people
in the space of 3 weeks) and the constant
harassment of residents by police, includ-
ing beatings, threats, and ridiculous arrests.
Jordan resident Marguerite Cannon com-
plained that lesser examples of police mis-
conduct in the Jordan neighborhood are
commonplace. She said a teenage neighbor
out  past  curfew  ran  from  police,  who
chased him and gave him a black eye. It
recalls similar situation to that of a 17-year-
old Somali man who was shot in the back
by police earlier this summer. Alice Lynch,
executive director of the Black, Indian,
Hispanic  and  Asian  Women  in  A c t i o n
group, said racial profiling and random
stops of black residents by white cops has
eroded the frail level of trust between some
community members and police. "Many of
them [the police] have military training and
act with a mentality of being in a war," she
said.
In the aftermath of the riot many different
groups with different interests sprouted up,
from surreal speeches by rich politicians to
landlord groups making statements about
the necessity of police tactics. Later in the
week it was revealed that Police Chief
Olson struck a deal with professional com-
munity activist Spike Moss to give him
about 20 temporary police badges and pay
about 6,000 dollars to his `community'
policing groups who roamed North the rest
of the weekend, supplementing the MPD
presence that smothered the entire city.
Although the `raid' was supposedly made
for drugs related complaints, police found
only six bags of marijuana worth about $10
each on one man. The complaints against
the house were made by a loose group of
primarily white homeowners calling them-
selves the Jordan Livability Committee.
Tim Dolan, head of the Minneapolis Police
Department's Fourth Precinct, pointed out
that "people in the suburbs don't realize the
reality is we have two communities of peo -
ple up here, One that works, owns property
and raises families, and a community of
people that is selling drugs and committing
crimes and would like to see the police
leave the neighborhood." There's no doubt
that what Dolan means is that there are rich
homeowners and landlords and there are
poor people, who are criminals because it's
criminal to be poor. The police are, as
usual, not only vicious and irresponsible,
but accessories to the war of the rich on the
poor, enforcing the landlords and yuppies
`street-cleaning' by harassing and assault-
ing poor people, especially poor black male
people.
Steve Wash, a south Minneapolis housing
advocate was quoted in the Star Tribune as
saying "To all those who say: 'Let's get
these  homegrown  drug  dealers  off  the
street,' I'm saying let's look at what's creat-
ing all these dope dealers. It's the only
viable economic opportunity for many of
these young men. People don't want to
hear that, but the true problem is a solvable
economic one. [...] When a defeated com-
munity gets so angry it boils over, a team
is brought in to quiet them down but not
advocate for better conditions. We hear
that it's a time for peace and it might sound
crazy, but why should all these poor people
remain quiet and keep going along with a
system that marginalizes them?"
Weeks have passed since the night of riot-
ing but the only response of authorities has
been  to  increase  the  police  presence.
Communities  United  Against  Police
Brutality are trying to bring in a Federal
Mediator to help bring the conflict to reso-
lution, but local politicians and the police
chief are attempting to crush any possibil-
ity at creating a community oversight over
police. As the fuse continues to burn low in
the neighborhoods there's no doubt in any-
one's mind that the police will kill again.
That's what they do: The enforcers of the
rich against people without power of all
colors.


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