WMM Official Statement; The Murder of Thurman Blevins
Two years ago, Jamar Clark and Philando Castile were killed by police. Justine Damond was killed last year. Thurman Blevins, Jr. was killed just last month. This is unacceptable. These were human beings. Our neighbors.
Police have killed someone in Minneapolis every year for the past 18 years, with the exception of 2007, 2011 and 2014. According to the Star Tribune, 63% of those people were black, even though the population of Minneapolis is 19% black. News coverage and accountability of these shootings reveal structural and deeply-rooted inequities and prejudices. If found liable, it is the taxpayers that have to pay for the bad acts of police because, unlike doctors, practicing attorneys, and other occupations that hold the life and freedom of others in their hands, law enforcement officers do not need to be insured. At the very minimum, it should be too expensive for cities, counties, and the state to employ (and thus pay for the insurance of) police that are bad actors. The cost, trauma, and other damage to communities, especially the black community, in our state associated with these police killings will likely continue if we do not speak out. Every week there is a new video of a white person calling the police on people of color as if the police are their personal concierge. The answering officer’s response to the situation could be to end someone’s life. We say, "No more!"
You are more powerful than you know. We need you. Be courageous with us. This is the time that we all need to show up for everyone in our communities. In light of everything going on, there is a tangible way for you to show up. Join us on the streets when called upon to raise our voices and let it be known that racism, murder, and police brutality will NOT be tolerated. We expect more than just police accountability after a shooting. We demand real reform of law enforcement hiring, training, and protocol. We call for our appointed and elected officials to address institutional racism, poverty, and violence; which is the very foundation of these deaths. We refuse to stay silent while our neighbors continue to die by the hands of police. This must end now.
-Women's March Minnesota Board of Directors