"Utopia is a bunch of BS": Black activist confronts Minneapolis city council member over dismantling police force

"Utopia is a bunch of BS": Black activist confronts Minneapolis city council member over dismantling police force

Will the Minneapolis city council dismantle the city’s police department — or will it listen to the local black community? The two came together late yesterday in an awkward, accidental meeting as community violence-prevention advocates literally called “BS” on the council’s plan to dismantle the Minneapolis PD. “It is time to stand up in this city, it is time to tell the city council that Utopia is a bunch of BS,” former police officer and now activist Lisa Clemons declared.

And that’s when one of the councillors pushing hardest to abolish the police happened by (via PJ Media’s Jim Treacher):

Lisa Clemons is a former officers and a peace activist with “A Mother’s Love.” She said to a crowd of reporters, “We cannot have bullets continue to fly in our community.”

A panel of African-American violence prevention advocates held what they call an emergency news conference to speak against the city council’s push to dismantle the police department.

“It is time to stand up in this city, it is time to tell the city council that utopia is a bunch of B.S. We are not in Mayberry we are in the wild wild west and it is time for some answers,” Clemons said.

At that point, Andrea Jenkins just happened to wander by. When confronted — in a collegial way — by Clemons, Jenkins insisted that she was concerned about the violence too, and that the city would have policing. Of some sort, anyway, but not until the council “reimagined” it:

Jenkins voted to move closer to dismantling the police department but said she still sees a need for public safety.

“I want to reimagine a police force that responds to the community in a way that is respectful,” Jenkins replied.

Well, gee, who’s in charge of the current police department? Perhaps we could ask them to simply put those policies in place. Oh, wait! It’s Jenkins and the rest of her colleagues on the city council, isn’t it? Indeed it is — and this push to dismantle the police department is just a way to dodge responsibility for the fact that the current council has done a piss-poor job in one of its core missions. They want to wipe the slate clean because then they can pretend they had nothing to do with those failures.

That might fly with some activists, but not those with real skin in the game. The African-American community has vocally opposed this idea all along, and they’re getting more assertive with every shooting that takes place while the city council evades its responsibilities. Their proposal to dismantle the police will take months, possibly years to try, thanks to a requirement in the city charter for a police department. Voters would have to approve that change, and the referendum is almost certain not to make it onto the November ballot. The city council action could leave the city and its law enforcement needs in limbo until 2022 rather than work on fixing the problems now within the police department they already control.

And even if they do wait that long, it’s getting pretty clear that the referendum on the charter change is almost certain to fail. The council still doesn’t have any idea what replacement will follow the dismantling of the police department. They want to pass the charter change first … and city residents are already balking at that idea. The further this gets from the George Floyd killing, the tougher that sale will be, especially with violence surging in the city every day since. That means their constituents might wait for years and still be left right where they are today.

There’s a reason that the local NAACP, the Urban League, and the residents they represent call the city council’s actions “egregious, grotesque, absurd, crazy, ridiculous.” This pusillanimous council is more interested in posing as “woke” while leaving Minneapolis residents at the mercy of criminals. Jenkins’ double-talk is all they’re getting, and hopefully every one of them remembers it the next time the city elects its council.

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David Strom 6:01 PM on March 29, 2023