Funding proposal to 4th Precinct causes controversy

Funding proposal to 4th Precinct causes controversy

MINNEAPOLIS - A proposal to add funding for Minneapolis police-- sparked a debate at tonight's city council meeting.

The city council approved $105,000 in spending to speed up crisis training for officers.

They are also considering $605,000 to improve safety and accessibility at the same precinct where Jamar Clark protesters and police engaged in a sometimes violent standoff for more than two weeks.

City Council Member Blong Yang proposed a one-time $605,000 spending -- to improve safety and accessibility.

He says the protest exposed vulnerabilities with the building that need to be fixed to protect police and the community.

When those who staged the protest found this out, they turned up at city hall by the dozens.

"Those sort of people don't deserve to be rewarded with an extra $605,000 dollars. You know who needs $605,000? The people of north Minneapolis," said Yolanda Hare.

"It's not going ot happen. We're not going to allow it. And if you do it today, be careful because your next steps could be your last," said Ryesha Williams.

"And the only reason this city didn't burn to the ground is because of that occupation outside of the fourth precinct," said Nekima Levy-Pounds - Minneapolis NAACP President.

One woman spoke up in favor of police and council members, but was shouted down when she used the phrase "these people," and said people of other races in the community are afraid to speak up.

Others exclaimed that the police precinct isn't needed in north Minneapolis.

"We call for the city to turn the police station not into a fort, but into a community center for the people of north Minneapolis," Rod Adams said.

"White people need to acknowledge their position of privilege and step back to allow the people of htat community to speak for themselves. They're quite capable of doing that. They're capable of policing their own neighborhood," Gillette West said.


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