Police chief urges community to be "vocal not violent" at tonight's rally for Trayvon Martin

Categories: Protest News
The bill for tonight's protest.
In the wake of Saturday's "not guilty" verdict for George Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, cities across the country erupted in protest.

In New York, thousands staged a sit-in in Times Square; some were pepper sprayed and arrested. In L.A., protestors spilled over onto a major interstate, and police prodded them off with rubber bullets, reports the L.A. Times.

Tonight, the rallies will reach Minneapolis. Starting at 6 p.m., protestors are expected to meet at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza and then march through downtown. The rally will not only be to express solidarity with Martin's side, but also with Terrance Franklin, the local 22-year-old who died in a police shoot-out in May amid circumstances that are still emerging.

See Also:
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In anticipation of the rally, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a statement earlier today urging protestors to be "vocal not violent."

"Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy," Harteau said. "I assure you the women and men of the Minneapolis Police Department will protect the rights of all citizens."

"I also recognize that emotions are high, so I urge our community to be vocal not violent," Harteau continued. "We have seen far too much violence in our city."

Anthony Newby, executive director or Neighborhoods Organizing for Chance (NOC), which organized the rally, says that when it comes to violence at tonight's event, he's more worried about the police than the protestors.

"We have more concerns about police, judging by the reaction in other cities, than we do about folks in our own network," he says, while noting that he expects protestors, as always, to be disciplined and peaceful. "So we're hopeful and optimistic that police have learned lessons from other cities."

Along with NOC, rally organizers include the Justice 4 Terrance Franklin Committee, Save the Kids, Idle No More, and Occupy Homes MN. Brother Ali has been speaking about the event, and Toki Wright is organizing the music.

Organizers decided to stage the protest at a NOC meeting on Sunday, and within 24 hours, more than 2,500 people had signed on to the Facebook event.

"We spent hours and hours and hours thinking about how could we respond to the outcome of the Zimmerman trial in a positive way, despite how we were feeling," explains organizer Brittany Lynch, adding that her frustrations extend to Minneapolis's own gun violence. "We decided that solidarity is key at a moment like this."

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I don't mean to be disrespectful, but when you have to make a slogan that says "No justice, no peace", you kinda hurt your own cause.

I won't weigh in on my opinion of the Zimmerman trial, but the victimhood mentality (which is, make no mistake, a very real thing) needs to stop being used so frequently. It does nothing but hold minorities back - and that goes for any minorities (and I'm part of one of those minorities).

If you can't take accountability for your own or your community's actions, then you're just whining. If you want real progress, work for it and stop blaming the system and everyone else. While that is definitely part of the problem, it isn't the only one. 

It disgusts me that some of these protests turned violent or aggressive or destructive. You want people's respect and ears, and then you start breaking things? I don't think so. You cannot have it both ways.

TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Very closed minded people that get upset by shiny objects. 


@kennyXExcellent post! Of course these leftists will never hold a rally or vigil in remembrance of or to bring about justice for the white (and non-black) victims of black criminals - of whom there are far more than vice-versa. In terms of real numbers, there are more whites murdered by blacks than there are blacks murdered by whites, even though whites outnumber blacks five-to-one. The media picks and chooses which stories they'll carry and which stories they'll bury. Thousands of blacks and a few hundred whites have been murdered by blacks, since Trayvon Martin was killed. Why don't we ever hear about them? Young black men are hundreds of times more likely to be killed by another black, than they are by a police officer or neighborhood watchman. Blacks are represented more, in nearly every category of crime, than is any other racial group. This is why they face greater scrutiny, in life, in general. I agree this is unfair to most blacks who obey the law and respect the rights of others. However, the only way to improve race relations at this point is for those blacks to call out the members of their race who give them all a bad name and non-blacks a cause to fear and avoid blacks. If you don't condemn the criminals, you condone them.


I'm just seriously asking, Terrance Franklin was breaking into a house right, I mean I could be wrong, but those were the details correct? 


By this time of night, the OWS people are going to be so stoned out of their minds, I highly doubt any violence will erupt.

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

What a waste of time... Find something better to do with your life! The next white person that is murdered by a black person - we should start mass riots and protest while chanting - WE'RE NOT CRACKAS, WE'RE NOT CRACKAS! What a joke...


@Downtown1 Yes, and not only that, he lead the cops on a high-speed chase through Uptown/S. Mpls endangering the lives of many. Also, he grabbed one of the officer's gun when he was cornered in the basement.

But those are just minor details. Just forget about them. The more important issue is that the the racist Mpls police wrongfully killed him because he was black and an upstanding member of society. 

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