activism Niko Georgiades Police Violence

National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality at Ruins of the 3rd Precinct

By Niko Georgiades / Unicorn Riot 

Minneapolis, MN — Over a dozen members of families impacted by police violence marched from the ruins of the former Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct to one of the proposed new precinct sites chanting “No new precinct” on the 28th annual National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality. Despite police killings not being headline news anymore, dozens of families who’ve lost loved ones at the hands of authorities in the Twin Cities continue their demands for justice and accountability.

The demonstration this year saw a lower turnout as it fell on the same day as a Palestine solidarity protest four miles away that was attacked by a car just hours earlier. Regardless, the gathering at the precinct provided an important space for families to speak, be heard, grieve together, and gather in community with activists. The protest was co-organized and hosted by Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), who has helped organize each year since the national day of protest started 1995. 

Several family members impacted by police killings from various interactions and those who have loved ones who they say have been wrongfully incarcerated spoke during the protest. Many families working with Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence spoke, including the founder Toshira Garraway, who also helped organize the protest along with Gross and a slew of others.

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Trahern Crews of Black Lives Matter Minnesota demanded that the city put the money they plan to use for a new 3rd Precinct into a fund to pay for restitution for the victims of the Minneapolis Police Department’s violence. Crews noted “protesting works” and said because of pressure from his family and activists, the death of his nephew, Hardel Sherrell, while in-custody, is being re-investigated and after protests over transparency on Khalil Azad’s death in Robbinsdale, authorities opened an investigation. He pressed the families to never give up.

Amir Locke’s uncle, Andrew Tyler, spoke about the recent documentary he made titled, “No Knock – No Charge? The Amir Locke Story.” He was able to procure 56 body camera videos from the Minneapolis Police killing of Locke in February 2022 and put them into a documentary. The film will be screening at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Union Theater on November 11, Locke’s birthday, from 6 – 9 p.m. View a trailer for the film.

Standing next to a cardboard cut-out of her son Howard Johnson, who was killed by Saint Paul Police in 2022, Monique Johnson said she was standing in solidarity with all the families who were there and those who couldn’t make it. Octavia Ruffin spoke about her brother, Ricky Cobb II, being killed by a Minnesota State Trooper this past Summer on I-94 in Minneapolis. Tanya Gile, who’s 14-year-old son was killed in a car crash from a police pursuit in Saint Paul and the brother of Paul Castaway who was killed by Denver police, Gabriel Black Elk, also spoke along with former state representative John Thompson, among others. 

Drawing connections from the police in the streets to the prosecutors in courts, Alissa Washington and Nakisha Armstrong spoke. They both have loved ones they say are wrongfully incarcerated, Cornelius Jackson and Deaunteze Bobo, respectively. 

A march and rally then ensued at what was, at the time of the protest, a proposed site for the replacement of the 3rd Precinct at 2600 Minnehaha Ave. A few days after the protest, a new site across the street at 2633 Minnehaha Avenue was presented by Mayor Frey and approved by the City Council on November 2. Stay tuned for an upcoming Unicorn Riot report and film on the 3rd Precinct. 

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Niko Georgiades

Niko Georgiades is a journalist and co-founder of Unicorn Riot.

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