NAACP alleges police violence, demands MPD restraint

Nekima Levy-Pounds on allegations of MPD violence

MINNEAPOLIS - After a contentious night of protests outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, organizers with the NAACP are calling for long-term reform of the police department, grief counseling for those who witnessed the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark and respect from the police as protests continue.

Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds said Thursday they received reports that two female protesters were beaten by police in an alley during Wednesday night's protests.

"They reported that they were in an alley and they were physically beaten by police," she said. "We have heard that it was on video so we're asking for people to come forward with the video at this time."

Levy-Pounds asked protesters to continue non-violent efforts outside the Fourth Precinct but called on the police department to remove the threat of violence as well.

"We are asking the community to exercise restraint in the midst of grief, hurting and unanswered questions and we demand the same respect from the Minneapolis Police Department," she said.

Levy-Pounds mentioned other incidents that took place Wednesday night -- like the use of weapons for intimidation against protesters and elected officials, including the son of Rep. Keith Ellison.

"It's hard to tell, are these real guns? Are these rubber bullets? At the end of the day, it shows a militarization of the police force in the city of Minneapolis and it is a response that is completely uncalled for," she said.

Levy-Pounds was joined by Stephen Green, national director of the youth and college division of the NAACP, who said they will stand in solidarity with the local community until justice is served.

"It may be cold, but our hearts are burning for justice," he said. "And we will not be silent and we will not be moved."

Levy-Pounds said they also want to see a release of the video police have collected that allegedly shows what happened when Clark was shot in north Minneapolis last weekend by police. The BCA has said none of the videos they've obtained show the entire incident -- and have continually said those videos will not be released until after the investigation. Levy-Pounds rejected their claims that releasing the video would compromise the integrity of the investigation.

Levy-Pounds said the NAACP is planning to hold a candlelight vigil for Clark at 4:30 p.m. on Friday. They also plan to march, protest and "mobilize the community."

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