City in Turmoil

Fall-out from the death of an innocent woman

July 2017 will live in infamy when future historians review key points:

  • Justine Damond, a 40 year-old, unarmed, Australian White female, was shot and killed in a dark alley by Minneapolis Police Department Officer Mohamed Noor, a Somali. Damond slapped the back of the squad car as she approached Officer Matthew Harrity’s window. Noor fired from the passenger’s side. The officers were responding to a 911 call from Damond regarding a potential alley assault.
  • People are asking how police across the country are affected, considering the recent NYC event where Alexander Bonds walked up to Officer Miosotis Familia’s window and shot and killed her.
  • Too many across the city and state, wearing ideological and biased blinders, are tossing due process out the window, the facts be damned.
  • Progressive and conservative forces are facing off over the future of policing in Minneapolis.
  • The 13 Minneapolis city council members are now extremely vulnerable.
  • The seven remaining Somali officers are under attack, receiving little support.
  • Someone in the city government is playing the D.C. leak game, releasing home numbers and addresses of the eight Somali MPD officers, including Officer Noor’s, to international media and to major White extremists across the country.
  • The Australian news media sent dozens of reporters. They imply MPD Somali police officers have been radicalized into joining ISIS.
  • Australian Prime Minister Turnbull says Minneapolis and America are the most dangerous places on earth. That does not sit well with the Chamber of Commerce or the Downtown Council.
  • The Somali community is divided on how to deal with the hate.
  • Civil rights leaders of color have been told to step back, catching them by surprise.
  • The White Police Federation’s conspiracy and leaking information to the White local and international press won’t work, nor will their maintaining that a crisis does not exist.
  • Mayor Betsy Hodges is under siege, especially from progressives. Close to two hundred protesters stormed her press conference, shouting “we don’t want you,” demanding she and her staff resign.

The Mayor’s explanation for asking for Chief Harteau’s resignation was a “loss of confidence due to the shooting,” as if she believes the nonsense of those who claim this shooting, combined with those of Terrance Franklin and Jamar Clark, represent a negative MPD trend of “little regard for human life.”  That makes no sense.

As quoted in last Saturday’s Star Tribune, I feel that Chief Harteau was an excellent chief. She was — and is — a good human being. I am saddened that individuals and groups, in order to travel with the maddening mob, have thrown her under the bus.  Mayor Hodges has probably guaranteed herself not to win a second term.

The next step: County Attorney Mike Freeman will determine what, if any charges, to bring against Officers Noor and Harrity (from second degree murder to no charges).

Conservatives and right-wingers are calling for the maximum sentence, before the facts are even known. Political and moral crises are blocking the development of positive relations between the City of Minneapolis and its citizens of all races. To those who say it is not a race issue, read some of the letters and emails sent to acting Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and members of the African Somali community.

The dark cloud denying due process has moved civil rights leaders from the non-violent justice movement of Martin Luther King, Jr. to that of the “Cold Civil War” in America. Opposite sides are proclaiming the other is guilty of “man’s inhumanity to man.”

The silver lining of this dark cloud of turmoil is that acting Chief Medaria Arradondo becomes the first African American police chief in Minneapolis.

Stay tuned.


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