Minneapolis has a long history of police brutality. Starting in the 1950s, a lot of police violence was directed at Native people living in the Twin Cities. 1/
The Federal government had developed a series of policies to "terminate" reservations and created incentives to induce Native people to move to cities. (This was part of a long assault against Native sovereignty and the intent was to destroy Native communities and cultures.) 2/
Many of these "relocated" people came to Minneapolis, which became an upper midwest population center for Native people from around the country. 3/
The Minneapolis city government (following long American white supremacist tradition) used its police force to surveill, harass, and harm the growing Native community. 4/
In July 1968, a group of Native people collectively formed the American Indian Movement. One of AIM's first actions was to create the AIM Patrol, which monitored police activity and police interactions with Native people in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. 5/
(To anyone who has studied the Black Panthers, this kind of citizens patrol will feel familiar. This was a feature of anti-racist and anti-police brutality in the 1960s and 1970s.) 6/
This is a good primer and timeline on the AIM Patrol in Minneapolis: https://www.mnopedia.org/group/aim-patrol-minneapolis 7/
"Five weeks after AIM Patrol was established, AIM leaders proclaimed that no Native people had been arrested—a dramatic reduction from the five to six arrests usually reported each day." That's how brutally the Native community in Minneapolis was policed. 8/
Minneapolis police brutality against members of the Native community persisted though. In 1999, MPD beat Mike Forcia (Bad Earth Ojibwe) and Forcia was eventually awarded 125K in compensation. 9/
And Forcia's experience was not an isolated incident. The Native community in Minneapolis also complains about lack of official attention to violence against members of the community, in particular Native women. 10/
A series of murders, the victims being Native women, occurred in the late 1980s for example, and AIM members complained that the investigations were inadequate. More recently, there is little official attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women #mmiw 11/
The MPD "officer" who brutally strangled George Floyd to death also murdered a Native man named Leroy Martinez in 2008. Martinez was a member of the large multiethnic, multilingual Indigenous community in Minneapolis. 12/
Mike Forcia reestablished the AIM Patrol in 2010, partly with the intent of highlighting police violence against the Native community. So, this is a long-standing problem affecting many communities of color. 13/
My point here: what's happening now has long historical roots. For DECADES MPD has brutalized non-white communities, and city and state governments have largely done nothing. It's not surprising that the anger and pain is now directed at representations of that oppression. /fin
Actually I'm not done. AIM also founded the Indian Health Board, recognizing that there were no real resources safeguarding Native health in Minneapolis. White supremacist state power routinely funds police surveillance and oppression but does NOT fund basic health care. 15/
Why? The goal is to totally control Native and black populations, and to make the city so inhospitable that they leave. Overpolicing and underfunding of health care go hand in hand (as the founders of AIM recognized in 1968). /nowfin
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