Several activists held a press conference on Monday denouncing what they called the hypocrisy of having former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, head of the Minneapolis Foundation, lead police accountability efforts when he failed to hold police accountable during his time in office.
The activists were responding to Mayor Jacob Frey’s recent announcement to turn over police accountability efforts to the Minneapolis Foundation and an unnamed group of advisors.
“As mayor, R.T. Rybak brought great harm to our community by failing to rein in police,” stated Nekima Levy Armstrong with Racial Justice Network. “Why would anyone think he and his organization have any expertise or credibility on police accountability issues?”
“Mayor Rybak is 38 and zero,” said Michelle Gross of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) at the press conference referring to the number of cases in which police brutalized or killed citizens and were not punished during Rybak’s term as mayor. “We can’t allow failure to be reinserted into this.
“RT Rybak is not an expert on police accountability,” continued Gross. “Dozens died on his watch and there were multiple complaints of police abuse harassment and excessive force happened under his watch without any accountability, many of the officers who killed people are still terrorizing our community.”
“We must adopt robust real accountability measures now, including community control of the police,” stated Jess Sundin with Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar.
“It’s not clear that the Minneapolis Police Department has an interest in protecting our community,” said Sundin responding to a question about whether the protests were preventing the police from protecting the community.
“We have a police department that fails to serve our community. The fact that no cop has been fired until now is criminal.,” she said.