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Supporters of Chrishaun McDonald rally outside Hennepin County Attorney's office

By staff

Minneapolis, MN – Community members, family, friends, and supporters of Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald held a boisterous rally outside the office of Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman, demanding that he drop the charges against McDonald.

Community members from the Trans Youth Support Network, Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, OutFront Minnesota and Communities United against Police Brutality joined together chanting, “If CeCe don’t get no justice, you don’t get no peace!” The rally is one of a number of actions highlighting Freeman’s implicit support of white supremacy by prosecuting McDonald for murder after she was the target of a racist, transphobic attack by a group of white adults outside of Schooner Tavern on Lake Street. earlier this year. One of the attackers, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattoo on his chest and died as the result of a stab wound inflicted during the attack.

Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), a local anti-police brutality advocacy and support group, told McDonald’s supporters: “We at CUAPB come to the Government Center for court watch regularly, and the vast majority of defendants are people of color and low-income people. CeCe’s case is the crystallization of everything that’s wrong with the so-called ‘justice system.’ But even though the deck is stacked against CeCe, us being down here makes a huge difference: it’s the only way that CeCe’s going to see justice. We need to keep reminding Freeman that we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere until he drops the charges.” CUAPB is one of many organizations from around the metro area and nation that have voiced support for McDonald as she continues to fight back against the retaliatory prosecution led by Freeman's office.

During the rally, supporters held posters and a large banner showing their support for McDonald, heard speeches by Gross and Lex Horan from the Support CeCe McDonald Committee, and chanted loudly to let Freeman know that community pressure will not let up on his office until he drops the charges against McDonald. After supporters began chanting, two representatives of Freeman’s office – Marlene Senechal, the Managing Attorney in the Adult Prosecution Division and Ashley Schweitzer, the Community Relations and Social Media Representative – came out to talk with the crowd. They listened to supporters concerns and promised to contact them with Freeman’s responses.

Supporters have planned a call-in day for Nov. 22 so that supporters nationwide can demand justice in McDonald’s case from Freeman’s office. The call-in campaign comes on the same day as a 3:00 p.m. hearing on McDonald's case in Room 1357 in the Government Center.

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