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St. Paul marks police killing of Marcus Golden

By Ted Mika

St. Paul, MN – June 2 would have been Marcus Golden’s 29th birthday, but he was shot in the back of the head and killed by St. Paul police four years ago. About three dozen friends and family of Marcus and other victims of police killing, activists, and supporters gathered, June 2, in front of the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion to celebrate Marcus’ birthday and call for justice for all victims of police violence.

Monique Collars Doty, Marcus’ aunt and member of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar and Black Lives Matter Minnesota, said, “I thank you so much for being out here to show Marcus some love, to show the Saint Paul Police Department that we don’t give an F about what you said happened, about what you did. We see through your lies, and we are going to keep standing and keep fighting.”

Trahern Crews of Black Lives Matter Minnesota and the Green Party spoke about the death of his nephew, Hardel Sherrell, and three other inmates in Beltrami County Jail, all cases suspicious due to neglect or foul play. “When the authorities kill your loved one and just act like they cared about your loved one, a lot of times we don’t get to see the footage. We just believe the police on face value, but a lot of times, when we can see the footage, we can see that those who are in authority – those who are supposed to serve and protect us – are liars and murderers and thieves.”

Toshira Allen’s boyfriend – the father of her child – was beaten to death by police and thrown in a dumpster. She said, “One thing I keep in mind is that they did not throw him in the river, they did not throw him in the woods, they threw him in the trash. So, that should signify something to us. That's what they think of us – they think we're garbage; they think that we're trash.”

Michelle Gross from Communities United Against Police Brutality mentioned the many falsehoods in the police narrative behind the killing of Thurman Blevins by Minneapolis Police last summer. She discussed the fruitlessness of going through channels to try to hold police accountable, “We have to be organized. We have to be united. We have to work with everybody we can bring to the table. We need to work with all colors, and get people here, get people present, get people fighting and willing to take those risks. And that is how we get what we want. We will never get it by being nice to these guys.”

Map Kong, who was killed by Burnsville police, was represented by his cousin, “There are multiple ways you can handle that situation, but then they choose the hostile way. They choose to kill. They choose to be disorganized and reckless.”

Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar spoke about the need for community control of the police, “But right now as it stands, in both Minneapolis and St Paul, there is no one who is going to hold the police accountable for their actions. They brutalize someone – nothing happens. They kill someone – they smear the family, and nothing happens. So, we are working to get a civilian elected accountability board that has actual teeth to discipline the police.”

KingDemetrius Pendleton, a photographer and journalist who supports the fight against police violence, spoke about the loss of his daughter to a drunk driver and his Choose 1 campaign against distracted and drunk driving.

Bridget Dawkins from Sounds of Blackness sang a version of Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday with lyrics about Marcus. At the end of the gathering, participants took over Summit Avenue to release balloons in honor of Marcus and other stolen lives.

#SaintPaulMN #PeoplesStruggles #PoliceBrutality #MarcusGolden