Indigenous dancers and drummers dressed in finery, feathers and masks led a protest Sunday outside the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis.
About 60 people in all joined to protest the June 23 fatal police shooting of Thurman Junior Blevins, known as "Jun." The gathering came just three days after another protest and march along W. Broadway Avenue on Thursday night. Another is planned for Friday in downtown Minneapolis.
"We share this pain," said Susana De Leon, leader of the Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue dance troupe. "Not only do we get shot and mistreated, we get our homes invaded in the middle of the night by police … because we are black, brown, indigenous."
After the dancers spoke, a half-dozen or more speakers denounced the police officers who shot Blevins, 31, in an alley in the Camden neighborhood. Police have said 911 callers reported a man matching his description walking down the street, firing a 9-millimeter handgun into the ground and the air.
The days that followed spawned competing narratives. Police have said Blevins was armed when he encountered the officers. His family members and several witnesses have said he had a bottle in his hands.
"We will not sit down on this one," said Minister Toya Woodland, who livestreamed the protest on Facebook. "You're going to do right by us this time and stop killing our people."
The group was specific in its demands. The protesters don't trust the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting. They want an independent investigation of all officer-involved shootings in Minneapolis and St. Paul since 2000. And they want police body-camera video taken at the Blevins shooting released to the public.