VIDEO: “Dear unborn black son, don’t jaywalk, don’t eat sandwiches…”

Minneapolis Southwest High School student Laye Kwamina reads his poem “Letter To My Unborn Black Child” at the Human Rights Day Rally on December 6, 2014. His poem, laden with references to violence against blacks such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, held the crowd spellbound. In it, he contrasted the stark realities of life for blacks in America with the unending love parents have for their children. He read, “Dear unborn black child, Don’t jaywalk. Don’t eat sandwiches. Continue Reading

What we have learned from Michael Brown and Eric Garner

Something is wrong with the law if those entrusted to enforce it repeatedly violate it. This is the troubling story of race and Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and police brutality in Cleveland, Ohio. But these three examples raise even more profound stories about the role of the law in a democratic society regarding whose legal norms are enforced and how. It is the story of legal legitimacy. Continue Reading

[PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter protesters halt 35W traffic: “We’re ready for change”

The largest highway in Minneapolis was brought to a standstill on Dec. 4 after protestors marched down a two-mile stretch of I-35W from Uptown to downtown Minneapolis to rally against several recent, high-profile cases of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.For more than an hour, northbound I-35W was reduced to foot traffic, with cars backed-up for miles behind the barricade of police cars separating protestors from oncoming traffic.Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of police misconduct issues.Related story: Protesters shut down 35W over Pantaleo non-indictment, not fast foodThursday’s “Black Lives Matter” protest was part of a national movement to denounce police brutality, racial inequality and a lack of accountability, sparked most recently by the decision to withhold charging police officers responsible for the deaths of two unarmed black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.Around 200 protesters joined the march from Uptown to Minneapolis City Hall.“People are tired of the opposition, people are tired of police not being held accountable and we’re deciding to take a stand,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds while walking down the onramp near 34th Avenue toward the main stretch of I-35W.“We’re ready for change. It’s time for change now,” the University of St. Thomas Law School professor added.Protest organizer Michael McDowell said the group’s goal for Thursday’s protest was to create change and “not just looking to get a bunch of media.”The protesters’ goals include a structural audit of the Minneapolis Police Department, quarterly progress reports to the community on racial diversity issues and police misconduct in the city, and body cameras on officers. The group presented them to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in an open letter published in the Star Tribune in September.Hodges, who spoke at a fast food labor rally on 33rd and Nicollet Avenue earlier that day, did not attend the Black Lives Matter protest stating she was unaware of the second protest until she had already arrived. Continue Reading

Protesters shut down 35W over Pantaleo non-indictment, not fast food

If the Storify story doesn’t appear, refresh your browser.Read more TC Daily Planet coverage of police misconduct issues.Related story: [PHOTOS] #BlackLivesMatter protesters halt 35W traffic: “We’re ready for change”[<a href=”//storify.com/tcdailyplanet/blacklivesmatter-protest-in-minneapolis-shuts-dow” target=”_blank”>View the story “Protesters shut down 35W over Pantaleo non-indictment” on Storify</a>]Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading