July 28, 2020

Minneapolis Residents form Militias in Wake of Violence, Lack of Police

  • Flyover Country

By: Nate James

In Brief:

Residents in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, sparking national race riots, are arming themselves and creating barricades to defend against ongoing violence in their city.

The Background:

The Minneapolis City Council just approved permanent cuts to its police department. Residents are taking matters into their own hands. The Wall Street Journal reports:

As riots played out across the city in late May and early June, a group of Black gun owners responded to a call from the local NAACP and patrolled the mostly African-American West Broadway business district for 10 nights, keeping the area free of looting or arson without firing a shot, said Jamil Jackson, a leader of the group called the Minnesota Freedom Fighters, which advocates for Black gun ownership.

"We were fired on," he said, "but we weren't going to return fire into a dark street." The group has 45 members with a variety of backgrounds, including some who have military training.

"We played a role alongside law enforcement and helped our community be safe," said Mr. Jackson, 43 years old, who runs a youth mentorship program called Change Equals Opportunity, or CEO.

The group has since been asked to protect community events and has formed a security company offering its services. Mr. Jackson said the group has been well-received at these events and hasn't met with any resistance because they mostly focus on community outreach.

Notable Quotes:

“Most of the time it has been peaceful, other times not really. Neighbors are armed, and some of them are veterans. They are very determined to defend their families, properties and the street."

  • Maria Gali, Minneapolis resident

Nate James writes from Texas.

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