Over 50 people turned out for second Freeman Friday – an event organized by the [Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar] – to demand direct prosecution of the officers who shot Jamar Clark to death last November.
Like last week, Mike Freeman was out of the office when we arrived and sent representatives of his office to speak on his behalf. Lolita Ulloa, one of those representatives, said he was sick and maybe if we came again next week we could speak to him in person.
And like last week, Lolita delivered the same message: Mike Freeman has not yet made a decision on the case and hopes to do so by the end of march.
But Jodie Carroll, who spoke on behalf of the Coalition, pressed her for the truth.
Jodie: We’ve heard otherwise from what you told us last week. You let us know that he hadn’t made a decision yet and we’re hearing from other sources that it has been decided. What is what?
Lolita: As of today, the process is that it will go to a grand jury. Last week, I did see he was considering–I mean he considers a lot of different things–but as of this moment, I can tell you it’s going to the grand jury.
Brettina Davis, another person speaking for the Coalition, chimed in.
Brettina: Not even a minute ago you said it wasn’t decided yet.
Jodie: Well the grand jury proceeding– the procedure that we have of reviewing the case, preparing it for the grand jury, is not complete. It’s two different–
One of the protesters called out, “How many police have been prosecuted as a result of the grand jury?” and the crowd replied, “zero!”
“So then why continue to do the same thing?” they asked Lolita.
She responded, “I think for our process, that is what it is today. The process that it will go the grand jury as of today.”
After we left the office, Coalition member and longtime activist Mel Reeves reflected on the meeting.
“She was apologetic, she beat around the bush, they were gracious towards us. That’s because they’re feeling pressure! That’s not usually the way this office operates, trust me. Ask anyone in my neighborhood. They’re not that gracious, right? They throw you in the car, bring you downtown, treat you as bad as they can. The reason they’re being gracious is because they’re afraid of us…The fact that they’re a little nervous means that we got a shot at this!…We just gotta keep comin at ‘em. I guarantee this, if we got 10,000 people in this place tomorrow, they’d announce, ‘Ah well, we decided against the grand jury.’”
That’s exactly what we intend to do.
Starting Monday, we’re asking everyone to call into Mike Freeman’s office and demand direct prosecution of Officers Riggenberg and Schwarze for killing Jamar Clark.
His number is 612-348-2146. Here’s the [Facebook event] for the call in. Please invite everyone you know.
It takes no more than 60 seconds to call that number and say, “(I’m a citizen of Hennepin County and) I’m calling to demand direct prosecution of the officers responsible for Jamar Clark’s death. A grand jury is an unacceptable and unjust answer to this crime.”
Join us next week at noon in the Hennepin County Government Center atrium for another Freeman Friday to amplify the momentum we’ve been building. Like Mel said, all it takes is public pressure to change this decision.
We had a brief march through the skyways after rallying in Freeman’s office. Check out these great reaction pics.
Why so salty, white ladies?