MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several political and religious leaders joined with members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis Thursday evening to demand the release of videos involving the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.
Rep. Keith Ellison and Minneapolis City Council members Alondra Cano, Cam Gordan and Lisa Bender addressed the media in a show of solidary with protesters. Members and supporters quietly stood behind the speakers while raising their fists.
BLM leaders singled out Mayor Betsy Hodges for not coming to Thursday’s event. She met with members earlier in the day at city hall, and members showed up to her home Wednesday night. The mayor was not there, but her husband let them inside and spoke with them.
U.S. Congressman Ellison asked for protesters to acknowledge how quickly their previous demands were met, including a state and federal investigation into the shooting, the identification of the officers and getting grief counselling to Clark’s family. But Ellison says more needs to be done, including the release of the videos.
“At the end of the day, we want the truth,” Ellison said.
Ward 9 Councilwoman Alondra Cano called upon Gov. Mark Dayton to help convince the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to bring the videos out into the open.
“Releasing the tapes is important so we can build a path to clear justice in this issue,” Cano said.
Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon underlined what he described as the importance of elected officials standing with the community.
“We are the peacemakers, and we are the change makers, and if we can be together and move to that, then we can get there,” Gordon said.
Lisa Bender, Ward 10 councilwoman, echoed her colleagues and added that she wants to stop a culture where black men live in fear of police encounters.
Adja Gildersleeve from BLM told the crowd that an anonymous source has contacted her group to say Clark was in the midst of filing a civil rights lawsuit against Minneapolis Police after he was allegedly beaten by 4th Precinct officers in a previous incident.
Another leader from BLM, Lena Gardner, ended the rally by saying that after the videos are released, the next phase for the group is “to change Minneapolis to be a more racially-just city.”