MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The season has changed at East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, but the sentiment hasn’t following the death of George Floyd, and months of unrest that followed.
Laneesha Columbus was killed near the memorial in July. The unborn baby she was carrying survived for a few weeks before passing away. Columbus’ mother, Ladell Turnipseed, was left in the deepest of pain.
“It’s just sad,” Turnipseed said after the shooting. “I just hope everybody take heed of what happened to my child and protect your babies with all you have. It’s real.”
Officers say the father of the unborn child, Zachary Robinson, started shooting at her. Neighbor Alfonso Williams intervened, and was shot in the process. His foot is still healing, and he’s still fighting for peace
“We’re out here, we’re the ones stepping in front of these bullets, man. So I mean, what else do you want us to do?” Williams said.
He is doing something this weekend, with the help of Pastor Curtis Farrar of Worldwide Outreach for Christ, located just feet from where Floyd was killed. Farrar is also standing strong against racism and for love.
“Loving our neighbor as ourself, that’s not easy. It’s gonna be a fight, but thank God it’s a good fight,” Farrar said.
Williams has a fight plan. With the help of community leaders, he will have a town hall at the church on Friday and spend the weekend talking with south Minneapolis neighbors.
“We’re trying to come to these young men and young women, let us know, ‘Hey man, it’s OK to be on this side, it’s OK to want to live, it’s OK to be honest and be a straightforward person, you know,” Williams said. “So we’re trying to make that cool. We’re trying to change the narrative and make doing positive stuff cool.”
And they want city leaders to know there’s a cost to bettering lives, but an infinite payoff.
“We want economic change for Brown and Black people,” he said. “We’re tired of it. We’re not asking, we’re demanding.”
The town hall will be held Friday at 4 p.m. at the Worldwide Outreach for Christ, right across from the George Floyd memorial. It is open to the public.