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MN Black liberation movement holds 4-year anniversary vigil for Marcus Golden

By S. Martinez

Saint Paul, MN – On the eve of the anniversary of the murder of Marcus Golden by the Saint Paul police department, the Twin Cities Black liberation and anti-police terror movements gathered to hold a memorial vigil at the site where Golden was killed in 2015. Over 50 people were in attendance, representing many groups from the movement and family members of those lost to police crimes.

On the early morning of January 14, 2015, what likely began as a clumsy cop slipping on ice turned into belligerent gunfire by Saint Paul police officers, ending in the murder of a young Black man. The police department tried hard to keep the story out of the media, or they spewed lies about Marcus Golden and the incident. After Terrance Franklin and before Jamar Clark, the murder of Marcus Golden by the Saint Paul Police Department was one of the pivotal moments in the Minnesota fight against police terror.

Marcus Golden’s aunt, Monique Cullars-Doty, a leader in the Minnesota fight against police terror and for Black Liberation, emceed the vigil. She is a member of many groups, including the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar. She used the vigil to announce the “Golden Awards.” The awards will have categories such as “police federation president most likely to have a white hood in his closet.” The ‘winners’ will be announced February 14. The of #NoLove4Cops nominations can be posted at

The Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar’s Jess Sundin, spoke, “The fact is, the story of what happened to Marcus didn’t make the news. But Monique took that moment and transformed the community for the long-haul and so now we all know Marcus Golden. What we learned from this example is, ‘Don’t ever forget!’ We thank for Monique for teaching us the powerful place that families can have in the movement. We can’t all be Monique, but everyone can find a place in the movement. At TCC4J, we are committed to making sure that all the names and all the stories are told.” She added, “Monique is always talking about, ‘We need legislation! We need new rules!’ This is why TCC4J is fighting for community control of the police. We need an end to police terror in our communities! Justice for Marcus Golden!”

At the vigil, the true story of Marcus Golden was told. There were many speeches and eulogies from community members, including Pastor Brian Herron, vocalist Bridgette from Sounds of Blackness and Loretta VanPelt of TCC4J. They honored the truths of a young Black worker who dedicated his life to serving his community and specifically his grandparents, providing them healthcare services and home upkeep. VanPelt ended the vigil by leading the Assata Shakur chant. Vigil attendees pledged to honor the memory of Marcus Golden, fight for justice, Black liberation, and community control of the police.

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