Updates, history, and content from neighbors in and around the Wedge
June 5, 2020
Dear Mayor Frey and the Minneapolis City Council,
In the wake of the horrific murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officers, and in light of the continued brutalization of black and brown people at the hands of those sworn to defend the peace, we request that city leaders take these immediate steps:
1) Radically transform the collective bargaining process between MPD and the Minneapolis Police Federation so that the community is at the table as a bargaining partner. The City Council has the authority to name one or more community organizations as interested parties in the contract, and we ask that the Council exercise this authority immediately so that it applies to ongoing negotiations over the current open contract.
2) Remove management from the MPD bargaining unit of the Minneapolis Police Federation. Lieutenants like Bob Kroll are management, not labor, and have no place in the bargaining unit. Mixing management and labor in contract negotiations creates systemic problems that allow for the continuation of bad practices. We must do more than replace one leader of policing status quo with another.
3) Do what is possible locally, and petition the state executive, legislative, and judicial branches to nullify current arbitration precedent and practices that shield cops from accountability for misconduct and start anew.
4) Push for a commitment from the Governor that some form of state receivership is put in place to protect us from police misbehavior. During this unprecedented crisis, sparked by extraordinary police misconduct, many police officers continue to abuse their power even while the world watches -- they have racially profiled journalists, tear gassed peaceful protestors, and shot paint canisters at residents sitting on their front porches. These continued abusive behaviors are traumatizing and make us frightened of what happens when national media attention turns away.
5) Ban the use of chokeholds and strangleholds, require the exhaustion of all alternatives before shooting, ban shooting at moving vehicles, and require comprehensive reporting for all uses of force regardless of whether they result in injury.
6) Ban the use of rubber bullets (or its equivalent). Ban the use of tear gas (or other equivalents) against peaceful protestors.
7) Establish an ordinance mandating clear identification for private security.
8) Provide resources to neighborhood associations and community groups to implement non-militarized safety initiatives including programs such as neighborhood-wide implicit bias and conflict resolution trainings, on-call drug and mental health crisis teams, and data and network support for neighborhoods experimenting with digital platforms that connect neighbors to each other and to other community safety resources.
Since the start of this state of emergency brought on by the murder of George Floyd, our neighborhood community has been at the front lines of protests and in providing aid. We are very humbled and inspired by the immediate and unequivocal response of solidarity and support by our local businesses and residents. LHENA has worked to provide a channel of communication for providing aid through all our social media outlets, and after it became apparent that provocateurs had arrived to co-opt the revolution for racial justice, we created an online neighborhood watch of 850 people that has now transformed into a solidarity network. The ethos of this network is adamantly anti-racist and will not simply reproduce the biases and aggressions of the status quo. The Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association and our Wedge community partners pledge our support in working as agents of transformation so that as neighbors, residents, and local businesses we can become better stewards of the safety and well-being of all our neighbors and bring about racial justice and healing.
Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association
Morgan Luzier and Josh Wilken-Smith
LynLake Business Association
MPD Chief Arrandondo
Scott Dibble, MN Senate District 61
Frank Hornstein, MN House District 61A