2 June 2020
It is with sadness, anger, and a mix of other emotions that the Seward Neighborhood Group writes you condemning the murder of George Floyd, the dangerous police escalation of local protests, and the complete failure of our policing system to protect our neighborhood.
The Seward neighborhood is a neighborhood of immigrants, activists, community builders, and organizers. We are a peaceful neighborhood that values the diversity of our residents, businesses, and visitors. We prioritize and demand justice. We live by our values and embrace the lives and relationships among our neighborhood’s diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and lived experiences. In a lot of ways, Seward is similar to the neighborhood where George Floyd was murdered.
The Minneapolis police department has a long history of perpetrating harm against our marginalized communities and committing coverups of these police crimes. We do not tolerate police brutality, abuse of power, or murder in our neighborhood, city, or state.
In the days following George Floyd’s murder, we watched as riots took hold in our neighborhood. Our businesses were damaged, looted, and burned to the ground as our neighbors watched and listened in fear. We lost pieces of our neighborhood’s history to the fires. We lost confidence in our own police department. And most of all, we all lost our sense of safety in our own homes.
It is amid this chaos that we have seen our neighborhood come together for our own safety like never before: Our block clubs activated and neighbors banded together to patrol our blocks; we developed strategies for warding off outside provocateurs; we supported peaceful protesters in our community; and most of all we built relationships with one another. These are elements of public safety we expect when we ask our government and elected officials to protect us.
We cannot condone our city’s policing methods and laws that led us to this unimaginable tragedy and it is with these reasons we demand the following actions from our elected officials:
- Public condemnation of the police murder of George Floyd.
- The arrest and charges against all officers involved.
- Immediate action ensuring the safety of our neighbors, peaceful protesters, and business owners while respecting the rights of individuals and communities to voice their pain and rage.
- The implementation of policing reforms in partnership with our local communities – especially marginalized communities.
- Work with neighborhood groups and justice-oriented organizations to identify laws and practices that oppress, intimidate, and murder marginalized communities in Minneapolis and take action to fix or remove these harmful laws and practices.
Should you have any questions about any of these demands or Seward Neighborhood Group’s positions on police brutality, please reach out to SNG Board President, Mark Splett at Marksplett@yahoo.com
Seward neighborhood demands justice and we call on you to work with us to bring radical change to make our city a better place to live.
Seward Neighborhood Group