Calling for fresh investigations of the Minneapolis police department and the Terrence Franklin shooting, several black community leaders on Wednesday held a press conference on the front steps of Minneapolis City Hall to demand action after a series of troubling racial allegations against Minneapolis police officers.
"As a result many people in our community and in our poorest communities fear the Minneapolis police," said Mel Reeves, a columnist for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder newspaper. The press conference was held just hours before Police Chief Janeé Harteau planned to convene her "Chief's Citizens Advisory Council" to discuss the same issues. None of the people who spoke at the noon press conference are on the council, which Reeves said was indicative of a larger problem.
"While we are pleased that Chief Harteau is taking aggressive action it appears that she is using the same old template, choosing only hand-picked people who they feel represent the community, rather than allowing the community to choose who will represent it," he said.
Joining Reeves were north Minneapolis faith leaders Rev. Jerry McAfee and Pastor Brian Herron. Also present were Daphne Bolden-Brown and Calista Adeboye of the "Justice for Terrence" group that has protested his death.
The group's demands include: An independent investigation by the state Public Safety Commission of all Twin Cities police departments and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office; the firing of officers who use racist language or excessive force; the police union's cooperation that suspended officers be suspended without pay; and that an impartial investigation be conducted into the shooting death of Terrence Franklin, who was shot May 10.