Local Civil Rights Groups and Activists Demand Justice in Anticipation of Derek Chauvin Trial for Police Killing of George Floyd

Media Contact–

Media Contact: Pete Gamades
Email address: pete.gamades@gmail.com
Phone: 612-310-6151

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 06, 2021

Local Civil Rights Groups and Activists Demand Justice in Anticipation of Derek Chauvin Trial for Police Killing of George Floyd

Please be advised that on Sunday, March 7th, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (CST), the Racial Justice Network, along with other grassroots advocacy groups, will be holding a Silent March in downtown Minneapolis to demand Justice for George Floyd on the eve of jury selection in the criminal case against Derek Chauvin. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

We are demanding convictions in the case of Chauvin and the other three officers involved in Floyd’s death, and an overhaul of the system of policing in Minneapolis, the State of Minnesota and across the country.

It is egregious that right before his death, George Floyd stated, “I Can’t Breathe,” nearly 30 times to Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. Footage recorded by civilian bystanders showed a woman who identified herself as a registered nurse asking to take George Floyd’s pulse over 10 times.

Three weeks before George Floyd’s death, Chauvin, Lane, and Kueng used the same deadly tactics when they wrongfully detained another Black man. Even with the national and international scrutiny on Minneapolis and the entire state that followed, four Minnesotans have died at the hands of police since George Floyd; Dolal Idd was killed by MPD on 12/30/20 and three people lost their lives to police during the last week of February in Isanti and Wadena counties.

Tragically, over 405 Minnesotans’ lives have been taken by Minnesota law enforcement officers since 2000, and a disproportionate number of those individuals were Black, Brown, Native, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latinx and Asian. Derek Chauvin is the first white police officer in the history of Minnesota to be charged and tried in a court of law for the murder of a Black man despite a long history of violence by Minneapolis police toward the Black community.

“It is time to hold police accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, the systems and policies that are supposedly designed to do so, repeatedly fail. Significant changes are needed, such as an all-elected civilian police accountability council,” said Sonja Muus, member of the Racial Justice Network.

Join the Racial Justice Network on Sunday, March 7th, at 2:00 PM (CST), for the “I Can’t Breathe” Silent March for Justice as we mourn the murder of George Floyd and All Stolen Lives.

We continue to demand JUSTICE and substantial changes to policing in Minneapolis, throughout Minnesota, and across the country.

We will meet on the People’s Plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center located at 300 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis, 55415. Participants are encouraged to wear all Black attire and to bring signs, flowers, and/or candles. Details can be found on our Facebook Event Page.

The Racial Justice Network (RJN) is a multi-racial, grassroots organization, committed to fighting for racial justice and building bridges across racial, social, and economic lines. racialjusticenetwork.com


St. Paul City Council targets protestors, free speech, and peaceable assembly

Media Contact–

Media Contact: Pete Gamades
Email address: pete.gamades@gmail.com
Phone: 612-310-6151

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 02, 2021

St. Paul City Council targets protestors, free speech, and peaceable assembly.
Local Civil Rights Group demands that City cease further restrictions on protests.

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – On the eve of the trial of Derek Chauvin, former Minneapolis police officer  accused of murdering George Floyd last May, St. Paul city officials should be considering how to hold its police officers accountable for brutality and misconduct against its citizens. Instead, they are  considering amending St. Paul’s existing Ordinance 21-6 which governs “Parades, Races, and Public  Assemblies.” Already unlawful: any length of metal, lumber, wood, or similar material for displaying a sign, poster, plaque or notice, unless such object meets particular measurements and specifications.

The City had recently proposed an amendment that would significantly lengthen the list of items, such  as knives and mace, prohibited at public assemblies and further restrict materials permitted for signs.

At a community forum Monday, March 1, St. Paul community members testified against the proposed  ordinance, describing it as, “fear mongering,” and “trying to restrict our lives and our rights.” Instead of amending this ordinance, some residents said, “St. Paul should be focusing on how police interact  with us, not how we interact with them.” Since that forum the City has canceled its vote on the  proposed amendment and instead seeks continued public comment.

“It’s bad enough that St. Paul requires demonstrators to pay a permit fee in order to exercise their  First Amendment rights,” says Kimberly Milliard, Racial Justice Network member, “But now they want  to further ban what appears to be anything and everything they can think of. One wonders if the point  isn’t to discourage people from assembling altogether. It’s disturbing.” 

Racial Justice Network joins multiple other community organizations in calling on anyone concerned  with protecting civil rights to contact their City Council person to demand that no further restrictions be  placed on protestors. Instead, city officials should better protect First Amendment rights. Additionally, the St. Paul Police Department must create stricter guidelines on use of force and crowd control  tactics at protests.

Racial Justice Network stands against ordinances and policies that limit Minnesota citizens’ right to peaceful assembly.

The St. Paul City Council claims Ordinance 21-6 will protect police and other  attendees during public gatherings, but, says Racial Justice Member Heidi Hanson, “It ignores the  peoples’ first amendment rights, does not protect protestors against bodily harm and injury from brutal  police crowd control tactics, and excludes heavily armed protesters who pose the most serious  threat.”

The Racial Justice Network (RJN) is a multi-racial, grassroots organization, committed to fighting for racial justice and building bridges across racial, social, and economic lines. racialjusticenetwork.com


Let's Break Bread Together : Free Pimento Community Meal

It's been a rough few months for us all. Let’s take some time out and break bread together.
Join us for a FREE lunch catered by our favorite Jamaican Restaurant, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen. Pimento will be serving their fan fav Jerk Chicken. Q Bear ???? from KMOJ will be spinning on the ones and twos.
Come out and a bring ya friends and family! All are welcome. Join us in spreading love and good vibes in our community.
This event is brought to you by Racial Justice Network, Guns Down Love Up, and Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, and sponsored by Target Corp.

Press Conf : The death of Cornelius Frederick

Media Contact–

Nekima Levy Armstrong
nekimalevypounds@gmail.com
612-598-0559

MEDIA ADVISORY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 17, 2020

African American Community Leaders Demand That Minnesota End Out-Of-Home Placements for Juveniles After Teenage Boy Dies in a Michigan Juvenile Facility

Please be advised, that on Thursday, June 18, at 11:00 AM, African American leaders will hold a press conference outside of the Hennepin County Government Center (near the Peoples Plaza), to discuss the recent death of a 16-year-old African American boy, Cornelius Frederick, in a Michigan juvenile facility. Cornelius was killed after he was physically restrained by staff after throwing a sandwich. At the time of Cornelius’s death, four juveniles from Hennepin County had been placed there.

Cornelius’s death should come as a wake up to Hennepin County and the state of Minnesota, that placing children in out-of home placements is dangerous and unconscionable. African American boys are over-represented amongst children sent to out-of-home placements in Minnesota.

Given the heightened attention to police-involved killings of African American men at the hands of police in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it is important to raise awareness about the dangers that youths face when placed in juvenile facilities and the need to end such practices in the state of Minnesota.

Speakers at the press conference will include–

Malaika Hankins, Legal Rights Center

Nekima Levy Armstrong, Attorney and Founder of the Racial Justice Network

Leslie E Redmond, Attorney and Minneapolis NAACP President

Kevin L Reese, founder of Until We Are All Free

Kelis Houston, founder of Village Arms

Elizer Darris, ACLU of Minnesota

Toussaint Morrison, Youth worker