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Family demands “Justice for Phil Quinn”, killed by St. Paul police

By Loretta VanPelt

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St. Paul, MN—Dozens braved near zero temperatures to demand “Justice for Philip Quinn”, a 30-year-old White Earth Ojibwe man killed by St Paul police last September.

Marchers began at University and Snelling Avenues here on January 9, shutting down the busy intersection with chants of “No justice, no peace,” and “Justice for Phil Quinn!” The march continued up University Avenue to the Super Target where protesters marched inside and surrounded the cash registers. Protesters told shoppers about the murder of Phil Quinn, and were joined by a few cashiers and customers in holding up their fists in solidarity.

The protest then continued into Wal-Mart, and after that Cub Foods where protesters chanted and held signs. A protester explained going to the big stores, “Capitalism is what is breaking our communities...that is why the police exist, to protect the white man’s capital.”

A statement by organizers explained, “Quinn was experiencing a breakdown due to his challenges with schizophrenia. His fiancée called for a medic team to come assess his self-inflicted wounds. No medic arrived but police did. Phil took off from home but returned hours later. 911 were called, but this time police set up a perimeter around the house. Phil came out.”

The organizers continued, “Not one cop attempted to talk to him nor deescalate him verbally. No words. Guns drawn, the police command “drop what is in your hands!' Seconds later an officer shoots Phil 4-6 times. They handcuffed him and left him face down... dead.”

Quinn's family is urging an independent investigation of St. Paul police officers Joe LaBathe and Rich McGuire who fired the fatal shots. They also reject the case being dumped at a grand jury by the City; a process that always favors police.

Justice for Phil Quinn organized the demonstration with the support of many local groups, including Idle No More Twin Cities, Native Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter Saint Paul, AIM Twin-Cities, IWW General Defense Committee, Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, and API for Blacklivesmatter – MN Chapter.

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