* Demand an independent, community-led investigation into the police killing of Terrance Franklin and the apparent cover-up.
* Build a movement against racial profiling and police brutality. Create an elected Civilian Review Board with full powers over the police.
As more information becomes available, the Minneapolis Police Departments version of the events surrounding the May 10th killing of Terrance Franklin doesn’t hold water. More likely, this is yet another cover-up for a racist police murder, once again exposing the legacy of police brutality and racial inequality in Minneapolis and nationally.
Minneapolis police officers wrongly targeted Terrance Franklin as a burglary suspect and pursued him into a basement, where he was shot seven times, five in the back of the head. The official police story of Franklin overpowering officers and a police dog, seizing their machine gun and shooting two officers, isn’t credible. The familys attorney claims to have video of officers using racial slurs to refer to Franklin, and concerns over police destroying crime-scene evidence are being raised.
Why was Terrance Franklin, a young African American man walking through Uptown, a predominantly white neighborhood, wrongfully targeted and pursued by a SWAT team? Minneapolis remains a deeply segregated city. Wealthy developers and city policy result in communities of color being pushed out of areas like Uptown. Gentrification is reinforced through police intimidation.
While local politicians might lament this unfortunate tragedy, they do nothing to hold police accountable. Nothing is done to transform the structural racism embedded into our criminal justice system, schools, employment, housing, and social services. This is the background to tragedies like this one and the murder of Trevon Martin last year, where the victim’s real crime was being black in a white neighborhood.
For working-class communities to have a voice and push back against police racism and violence, we must organize movements to assert democratic control over public safety.
Its time the Mayor and City Council clearly admit theres a structural problem behind the MPDs racism and violence. We need an independent, elected Review Board with real teeth, with full powers to discipline and remove officers. – Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative candidate for City Council in Ward 9.