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MN Group Gathers Residents' Thoughts on Police Accountaility

It's been nearly five months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but debate on a variety of issues tied to the incident continues. (Mike Moen)
It's been nearly five months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but debate on a variety of issues tied to the incident continues. (Mike Moen)
October 12, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- Feelings still are strong in Minneapolis about the police killing of George Floyd and how the city responded to the incident and the civil unrest that followed. One group has been holding listening sessions so policymakers and all state residents know more about the lingering effects.

Michelle Gross, director of Communities United Against Police Brutality, said city residents still have a lot to say about how they experienced what happened, and police culture leading up to the incident.

"They were certainly frustrated by the lack of accountability by the police," Gross said. "They were very frustrated with the lack of interest by City Hall."

Gross said some who testified felt their neighborhoods were abandoned during and after the uprisings. City leaders say they have since enacted rule changes for police. At the state level, the Legislature adopted a series of reforms following Floyd's death.

But Gross said many other changes are still needed, and they plan to keep pressing lawmakers to take more action.

In addition to getting the attention of policymakers, Gross said they want the rest of Minnesota to see the different moods playing out in the city, and not just make assumptions based on news reports.

"We're the financial driver for the rest of the state. If we're hurting, the state's hurting," she said. "And so, people around the state should really care what goes on in Minneapolis, why it happened and the effects of it."

Many activists have said gaining more perspective helps when it comes to thorny issues such as reallocation of police funding - noting they are not arguing simply for having no law enforcement at all.

The group wrapped up its final listening session last week, and plans to issue a report and recommendations soon.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN