November 24, 2015
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement condemning the shooting of five unarmed peaceful protestors late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis:
"The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and Dakotas (JCRC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly shooting of five unarmed peaceful protestors late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis. Protesters, outraged over the deadly police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark on Nov. 15th, have gathered outside the police station for the past week.
"It should be alarming for all Minnesotans that peaceful protesters were violently attacked while exercising their First Amendment rights. Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, described the shooters as white supremacists. While the affiliation of the shooters has not yet been verified by police, there is no doubt in our minds that this crime was motivated by hate. Additionally, it is clear that these cowards sought to terrorize not just the people peacefully assembling outside the Fourth Precinct, but the broader African American community. This is unacceptable and appalling, but we are certain that like other terrorists, these shooters will fail to intimidate the people from exercising their rights.
"We pray for the victims' swift and full recovery. We also support law enforcement's investigation of this crime and the arrest and prosecution of the cowardly attackers who shot the five peaceful protestors and remain at large.
"As we head into our national day of Thanksgiving, now is an appropriate time to be grateful for our collective abundance, but also recognize that we live in a country which has still not lived up to its promise to be a land of opportunity for all of its citizens. We therefore support all those working towards racial justice and equality in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and our country."
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.