I stayed up last night, unwilling to be torn from my Twitter feed, watching the situation unfold with the Black Lives Matter protests outside Minneapolis' 4th Precinct. I was amazed at the bravery and persistence of the protesters, and it takes some special kind of guts for CM Lisa Bender to say to an officer "If you want to shoot someone, shoot me."
I am all for supporting those who enforce our laws, but I think the police are wrong here, for any number of reasons.
But the main reason I think that this is a major error on the part of the MPD is because, for as long as I can remember, the police force has said that the Northside and that precinct is especially difficult to address, that they are doing the best that they can, but that its simply impossible to keep order there.
And now they are actively fighting against — assaulting with mace and rubber bullets — the very people who are proving that they give a damn about that community and their city and are willing to fight to make things better. Imagine if we had a police that was smart enough and cared enough to engage these people to work better to make improvements. But instead, the alienation and hurt that they are actively fostering will take years, if not generations, to heal.
It's a mistake of enormous proportions by those who are supposed to be our leaders and protectors, and I grieve for that.