By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a stalemate between community organizations and the Minneapolis City Council about how to combat violence in north Minneapolis.

Last week, council member Phillipe Cunningham told WCCO he wants to organize Boots on the Ground groups, as well as Minneapolis Police and the Office of Violence Prevention.

But those groups say they were never invited to be part of the conversation.

At Wednesday’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee meeting, Cunningham didn’t get into specifics of a plan to combat violence in the part of the city he represents.

He says the operational details are still being worked out by his staff.

“There will be more details as I will reiterate there will be a presentation to the public health and safety committee with all of those details flushed out,” Cunningham said. “That takes time. I felt it was important to get this work underway ASAP and I wanted to be transparent about it.”

“How can there be a plan?  You can’t have a plan without the organizations out here doing the work being a part of the plan,” Trey Pollard, Founder of We Push For Peach said.

We Push for Peace is just one of several groups like A Mother’s Love and the Interrupters that Cunningham previously told WCOO are part of his plan.

“We wasn’t contacted, no we wasnt contacted,” Pollard added.

Boots on the Ground organizations say they don’t trust the council to do what’s needed to stop the violence.

“We are trying to figure out a way that we can continue to be effective in our community, changing some of these little brothers and sisters lives, giving them a different platform to do something different and not rely on these elected officials,” Pollard explained.

Cunningham’s colleagues on the council expressed their concern about a lack of details and more importantly a city-wide, comprehensive plan to address violence.

“I need to hear something from staff talking about what this is — how it’s happening — what its going to cost,” Lisa Goodman, Minneapolis City Council said.

Cunningham says the plan uses a scientific approach to address the highest concentration of crime.

Pollard says they don’t have time for that — what they need is action to stop the bullets from flying.

“Because at the end of the day we got to do the work,” Pollard added.

This issue will be discussed again at the full council meeting on Friday. Boots on the Ground organizations will meet Saturday evening to talk about how they’ll move forward.

Reg Chapman

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