Nationwide, uprisings and demonstrations against police violence continue as the Black Lives Matter movement leads the call to defund police departments and reinvest in Black communities. In case you missed it, here are the top stories from Prism’s coverage of the protests and more during the last week.
Anoa Changa spoke with Angela Conley, a Hennepin County Commissioner in Minnesota, about the path forward for her community and others in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
I have been an activist and advocate for a very long time. Back when the freeways were shut down after the murders of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, and when we were occupying the Fourth [Police] Precinct here in Minneapolis. I have had boots on the ground every time something like this happens, because I need to feel and hear from the community firsthand. So walking in this world in the body of an activist who is also an elected official to me, it’s two-fold. We need more activists in political office and we need more activists who aren’t afraid to speak out unapologetically about the injustices that are happening in our community.
Tamar Sarai Davis laid out several ways people can support Black Lives Matter even if they can’t attend a protest. As consumer brands and other organizations tweeted statements of solidarity, Carolyn Copeland reported on organizers’ calls for businesses to get involved beyond just talk.
One of the most prevalent narratives surrounding these protests is that they are fueled by rage with no set of coordinated, concrete demands—but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Organizations like The Movement 4 Black Lives (M4BL) and Minneapolis-based groups like Black Visions Collective and Reclaim The Block have specific demands and action steps around defunding the police and reallocating that money toward community-based resources and services.
“We’ve heard it all before,” said Marc Banks, national press secretary for the NAACP. “If there had been any action put behind these statements of solidarity, we might not be witnessing the vitriolic response happening in the streets right now. The statements mean little at this point. We need to see action on behalf of our allies and those in decision-making roles to shift the paradigm of society on a global scale.”
In other law enforcement misconduct news, a woman came forward and filed a lawsuit stating that she and two other women were raped while being held in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center.
ICE purports to have a “zero tolerance policy” for all forms of sexual abuse, but abuse is rampant in the agency’s detention centers nationwide. An analysis of 33,000 complaints of sexual assault and physical abuse filed with the DHS Office of Inspector General between January 2010 and July 2016 found that more abuse complaints were filed against ICE than any other agency within DHS. Even more recently, an April 2018 investigation by The Intercept reviewed 1,224 complaints of sexual and physical abuse filed by detained people between 2010 and 2017. More than half of those accused of abuse worked for ICE.
Stick with Prism for more original journalism and smart commentary focused on the people at the center of the fights for justice in the face of our country’s most pressing problems. See you next week.