Rally calls for release of Myon Burrell

Courtesy of Demetrius Pendleton Amariana Burrell and Myon Burrell Jr at Oct 25 rally

On Sunday, October 25 a few hundred people gathered at the George Floyd Square on one of the coldest October days in Twin Cities history to demand the release of Myon Burrell, who has been in prison for 18 years for a crime that he insists he did not commit. Even Hennepin County’s then-prosecutor, now Senator Amy Klobuchar, has expressed doubt about his guilt.

Burrell, now 33, was 15 when he was sent to prison for life in 2003 for killing 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in South Minneapolis in 2002. Klobuchar had come under fire for the conviction after continuously bragging about putting Burrell in jail for the murder as she campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Several speakers addressed the crowd, including family members and a few well-known activists. The rally took place directly across the street from Cup Foods, the store Burrell told police he was in at the time of the accidental shooting of Edwards. The tapes that he said would have backed his alibi have mysteriously disappeared.

 “The people who worked in the store [Cup Foods] never came and said what happened when the police came and took the videotape,” explained Michael Toussaint, Burrell’s father, at the gathering of supporters. This is the same Cup Foods where George Floyd was arrested and killed by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day this year.

“My son was convicted of something he didn’t do. I watched as the judge turn his back during my son’s trial. He fell asleep twice. The justice system is rigged. The system are the same people who make the laws, but they break them too,” said Toussaint.

“It wasn’t that she cared about my child’s life,” he said, referring to then-prosecutor Amy Klobuchar. “She cared about her political career. Please don’t stop fighting for my child. We got to keep boots on the ground. And he is not the only one in there who is innocent.”

“As a kid, other kids’ dreams were they wanted to be a movie star or rapper or something,” said 19-year-old Myon Burrell Jr. “My dream was to have my dad.”

“Lots of Black and Brown people are locked up in the U.S., and they are put there by politicians,” said Jaylani Hussein of Minnesota CAIR. “The system is so corrupt that once you get in its difficult to get out. We incarcerate more people than anybody else in the world. What does that say about the U.S.?

Monique Cullars-Doty pointed out that Myon is not free because “to free him would unravel the system.” She said, “What happened to Myon is on film,” pointing out that the police investigator said, “Give me a name” to an alleged source and offered him $250, then $500, “and that’s how we lost Myon Burrell.”

Burrell was able to address the rally by phone, calling in from Stillwater Prison. “I appreciate y’all and what y’all are doing from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

“God willing, the truth will come out and I will be home sooner or later. Y’all keep on applying pressure. You are my voice. I am confined to these four walls and they try to shut me up, but y’all are my voice.”