The Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) and African American Leadership Forum (AALF) have released a list of demands in the wake of the Philando Castile homicide.
In a joint statement the two groups outlined three immediate demands – the appointment of a special prosecutor, the release of dash-cam video and the release of statements made by St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez; the officer who shot Castile.
“It is imperative that law enforcement and governmental leaders operate transparently and expeditiously during this time of deep widespread distrust in law enforcement agencies,” said Steven Belton, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Urban League. “Releasing the videos and statements can only help expedite the process. Philando’s loved ones and our community deserve to know what happened and how people in authority will proceed in dealing with this injustice.”
“The African-American community continues to grieve the senseless loss of Jamar Clark while it now assumes the heavy burden of Philando Castile’s death,” said Jeff Hassan, executive director of the African American Leadership Forum. “The best way to honor Philando is to make sure these senseless acts cease to happen. Now is the time to change the system that has miserably failed and mortally penalized African-Americans, especially Black males.”
Other demands agreed upon by the AALF and the Minneapolis Urban League are to require officers to carry Tasers, provide mandatory bias training for all officers with a mandate of 15 hours training and annual continuing education on the subject, make mandatory training in de-escalation techniques, make mandatory that all officers carry professional liability insurance at the officers’ own expense and return Minneapolis to a federal mediation process for disputes involving community and police.
The MUL and AALF are also calling for government officials to fund violence prevention initiatives to expand and deploy community foot patrols and navigators to prevent violence, promote peace and access services. The two organizations also have demanded the funding of trauma initiatives to address personal and community trauma from what they termed a “relentless violence in targeted communities.”