The Young People Task Force was assembled in Minneapolis to help combat rising violence. Young Minneapolis residents between the ages of 13 and 28 are taking part in the initiative.
According to WCCO, the Young People Task Force Co-chair Al Flowers Jr. shared their motivation for the task force saying, “I’m terrified about what’s going on in our city because I see a conversation around public safety, but yet I do not see enough of our faces in that conversation.”
Flowers Jr. said, “We want to be able to come up with solutions and come up with preventative measures so that we can help be part of the solution, so that we can help change the narrative of what’s going on in this city.”
“The truth is we got too many people dying in our city,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
Arradondo is working with the Young People Task Force to get “their input on community violence, public safety and police reform.”
The task force is a part of the Unity in Community Mediation Team that worked out a federal agreement with the Minneapolis Police Department in 2003. According to WCCO, “The agreement covers accountability of officers, complaints and discipline process, use of force, and diversifying the workforce.”
Arradondo is hoping that the task force can help bring the community together against violence and help to solve the growing problem facing many Minneapolis residents. He raised concerns about perpetrators of murders continuing to be on the loose as violence spikes.
“85% of the victims of gunshot violence look like us, also 85% of the people who are perpetrating those crimes look like us. So we can continue and we must have the conversation about police accountability and I have to lead that charge on that,” said Police Chief Arradondo. “But I’m telling you now, the biggest threat to public safety in our city, specifically in the African American community, it ain’t somebody who is wearing this uniform.”
A 13-year-old task force member named LaZya Smith said that people need to be forthcoming about crimes occurring. “Speak up about police brutality, systematic racism, and if you see crime happening speak up. Don’t be afraid to tell what happened because we need to catch those people who do the crimes,” Smith said.
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