On the surface, what is happening is that a black man named Jamar Clark was shot by white police officers on the city’s north side on November 15, 2015. Clark was later removed from life support and later died at the hospital. Protesters demanding the immediate release of information related to the shooting have kept a vigil at the 4th Precinct since the shooting occurred. Tear gas and marking bullets were used to disperse them, but they have refused to leave until their demands for transparency are met. Last night, five protesters were shot by white men whom protesters say were there to threaten and intimidate them. Police are still looking for the shooters.
So that is “what is happening.”
Here is equally important information about WHAT IS HAPPENING in my hometown:
“Picking Up the Pieces: A Minneapolis Case Study” is a meticulous piece of reporting by the Minnesota ACLU about a city that hides, “behind the widespread prosperity of white residents,” the fact that it is deeply “divided along economic and racial fault lines.”
“We have been saying for a significant amount of time that Minneapolis is one bullet away from Ferguson,” Jason Sole, a local NAACP official, said on November 16. “That bullet was fired last night.” Now there have been more.
I have not been at the protests, but I did give money to Unicorn Riot, the independent group that has been livestreaming from the 4th precinct since day one. They have been the most reliable source of information about these events, and I urge anyone reading this to watch and to chip in if they can.
Here are a few of the Twitter accounts I follow for updates. I encourage you to follow them as well, and to search using the hashtags #4thPrecinctShutDown, #Justice4Jamar, and as always, #BlackLivesMatter.
What is happening in Minneapolis is what is happening everywhere is what is happening in Minneapolis.