Minneapolis protesters hold city council VP ‘hostage’ by blocking vehicle, demanding riot charges dropped

on Jun30
by | Comments Off on Minneapolis protesters hold city council VP ‘hostage’ by blocking vehicle, demanding riot charges dropped |

The vice president of the Minneapolis City Council says she was “held hostage” while attending a Pride celebration over the weekend, as video shows a large group of protesters blocked her vehicle until she agreed to sign a list of their demands that included dropping criminal charges against rioters.  

Andrea Jenkins, who represents Minneapolis’ 8th Ward and identifies as the first Black openly transgender woman to be elected to office in the U.S., said in a statement Tuesday that it is also time to stop the holding of Black-owned businesses, the neighbors and residents of the neighborhood near George Floyd Square hostage more than a year after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.  

The incident happened Sunday afternoon while Jenkins was attending the Taking Back Pride event in Loring Park, as video shows her sitting in the front passenger seat of a white vehicle being blocked by a group of extreme Black Lives Matter demonstrators, many with their cellphones out recording. 

“It might be three days before I get out of here,” Jenkins is heard telling someone over the phone while sitting in the vehicle, according to a 23-minute-long video shared to Facebook by activist Donald Hooker Jr.

DEREK CHAUVIN CLOSING IN ON PLEA DEAL ON FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS CHARGES: REPORT 

Hooker shows the camera a list of “The People’s Demands” that Jenkins must agree to before she’s free to leave. The handwritten note calls for the formation of a “community police accountability commission,” to “reopen all the cases of murderers,” to “drop the charges for all 646 protesters and other protesters for 2020,” and to “make all information on the murder of Winston Smith available.” It also demands the resignation of Mayor Jacob Frey and to “leave George Floyd Square alone. PERIOD.”  

The protesters shouted each demand and asked if they had Jenkins’ support. She agreed, “Yes,” to the first few before shaking her head when protesters called for Frey’s resignation. The crowd shouted again until Jenkins finally agreed and she asked, “Do you understand English? I already said it.” 

Responding to the final demand to stay out of George Floyd Square, Jenkins retorted, “So you’re asking me not to do my job.” As the group shouted over her, she continued, “I was elected to represent that neighborhood, so what you’re asking me to do is to not do my job.” 

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE 

A woman in the driver’s seat leaned over to say this is not a negotiation.  

“We are not asking no more, White lady. We are demanding,” a female voice in the crowd shouted to the driver, as seen in a shorter snippet of the incident shared by independent journalist Andy Ngo. “Do your job and drive.” 

The driver flashed her middle finger at the crowd, but Jenkins pulled her arm down. 

Jenkins eventually signed the list of demands, and protesters shouted for her to print her name and date it. 

“Black pain, Black trauma, Black anger is real and justified. What is not justified is the inhumane treatment of other humans because they hold elective office,” Jenkins said in a statement posted to her Facebook page Tuesday. “On Sunday afternoon, while attending a Pride event in Loring Park, something I’ve done on the last weekend in June for the past 20 plus years, I was verbally attacked, berated and held ‘hostage’ against my will by a large group of angry protesters.” 

Jenkins said she is a public servant representing some 31,000 people who live in the 8th Ward in south Minneapolis, which she describes as “a beautiful community that was forever changed by the inhumane murder of George Floyd at the intersection of 38th and Chicago.” She acknowledges that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was recently sentenced to 22.5 years in prison after his conviction on murder and manslaughter charges in April in connection to Floyd’s death.  

MINNESOTA LAWMAKERS REACH DEAL ON POLICING MEASURES 

She also agreed that the community needs answers after the deaths of Dolal Idd, Daunte Wright and Winston Smith. Wright was shot by former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in April. His death, which happened during Chauvin’s trail, prompted several nights of demonstrations as the Minneapolis area remained on high alert. Smith’s death earlier this month also evoked unrest after he was shot and killed following a confrontation with deputies serving on a U.S. Marshals task force. 

“I can’t tell people how to express their anger, their fears or their pain, but I do know that when your pain impacts others then that becomes problematic,” Jenkins said. “I have always believed in open dialogue where people can talk and be respectful of their differences.”

While she continues to be willing to sit down with activists, advocates and protesters to understand their policy change demands and recommendations, Jenkins described how she “refused however to be bullied and held hostage to somehow accomplish that.” 

“Every citizen of this City has a right to bring forward their concerns, but no citizen has the right to detain and coerce anyone to do anything, that includes elected officials,” she added. As for calling for the mayor’s resignation, Jenkins said it will be Minneapolis voters who will determine if Frey stays in office come November — not her or any other councilmember. 

A vehicle travels along Chicago Ave. S. near East 38th Street at George Floyd Square, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Minneapolis, after city crews returned to remove debris and barriers for the second time in an attempt to open the intersection to traffic. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

A vehicle travels along Chicago Ave. S. near East 38th Street at George Floyd Square, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Minneapolis, after city crews returned to remove debris and barriers for the second time in an attempt to open the intersection to traffic. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)

“Additionally, I believe that what has become known as George Floyd Square already is and will continue to be a sacred space and I intend to do all in (my) power to create the type of social justice memorial that reflects that struggle,” Jenkins wrote. “However, it is time to stop holding of the Black owned businesses, the neighbors and residents of that area hostage.” 

City crews have repeatedly attempted to reopen traffic through that intersection in recent weeks, but each time protesters have shown up and rebuilt makeshift barriers after police officers left. 

Frey also condemned the incident involving Jenkins Tuesday afternoon. 

“Holding elected officials accountable is good. Holding people for hours against their will until they’re compelled under duress to take positions is not,” the mayor tweeted. “This isn’t a matter of politics or policy. We should all call this behavior out for what it is: fundamentally wrong.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Reached by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Hooker told the newspaper he and the group of demonstrators confronted Jenkins to raise concerns about community groups contracted with the city to deescalate tension. The Taking Back Pride event was advertised on social media as an opportunity to decry police brutality and prioritize the voices of people who are Black, transgender or queer. 

Neither Frey, Jenkins nor the Minneapolis City Council press office returned voicemails and emails from Fox News earlier Tuesday seeking comment. 





Source link



Previous postDelta Variant’s Spread Prompts Reconsideration of Mask Guidance Next postMinneapolis protesters hold city council VP ‘hostage’ by blocking vehicle, demanding riot charges dropped


Chicago Financial Times


Copyright © 2021 Chicago Financial Times

Updates via RSS
or Email