NOC is demanding justice after our member and well-known community activist Al Flowers was assaulted in his home by the Minneapolis Police Department this weekend.
The MPD's unprovoked attack on Al Flowers, who has a history of speaking up against police brutality and harassment, is the latest in a long line of attacks from rogue MPD officers beating and/or killing our community members. NOC is demanding justice in this case and real accountability from the city and the MPD going forward.
The police came to Flowers' home at 12:40 am Saturday morning on the auspices of arresting his 16-year-old daughter for a supposed electronic monitoring violation, though she had not violated the terms of her electronic monitoring. When Al asked to see a warrant, he was beaten severely and arrested.
"I did what any parent would do before letting the police take their child. I asked to see a warrant. For that they beat me like a dog," said Al Flowers.
"If Al Flowers is not safe in Minneapolis, we are not safe," said Abdirizak Bihi, a leader in the Somali community, at a press conference Tuesday. Several people shared anecdotes of other incidents of police harassment and abuse in the Twin Cities.
Friends and family of Al Flowers have called for an independent investigation into this case and to be at the table to choose the investigator. Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Harteau announced Tuesday evening that they would seek an independent investigation, which is an important step forward, though it is not clear whether the Flowers family will be invited to play a role in choosing the investigator.
"This is bigger than just me," said Al Flowers. "We are going to win this battle. I know we're going to win. I'm not scared. They didn't scare me. I would never quit the fight."
If you or someone you know has been affected by police violence, we want to hear from you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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