by a non-law-enforcement head. That to me is a clear directive to get rid of the first Black chief in the history of the city of Minneapolis, the one who actually had the courage to fire the four officers who killed George Floyd. So they did that on purpose. And I’m thinking, “How would law enforcement be answering to a non-law-enforcement person who’s not trained in any of that?” That would create some very weird dynamics. And then their proposal also calls for some police to still be here. So it’s not abolition of the police. Beyond that, they are also just disseminating power from having the mayor oversee the police department to having city council members and the mayor. So that’s power divided by fourteen people. And this is a group that we’re expecting to get along with each other, to be in agreement about what’s in the best interest of the city, when most of them do not have a strong relationship with the Black community to know what we need, to know what we want. We don’t expect them to make decisions that are in our best interest. If that was going to be the case, they would have done it by now.
BARB CAMPBELL, 56
There’s a group in town that is a newly formed forum around the George Floyd protests, and I saw that on their page, they had a live video going of the ICE action. Some people were standing in front of a couple of ICE buses, trying to keep two buses from leaving the parking lot of a hotel here in Bend.* As I was leaving the house, I got a phone call from a local activist saying, “Barb, you know what’s going on? Can you come down here?” I told her I had already heard about it and that I was on my way.
Throughout that day, I was texting our mayor, trying to get her to come down to the protest.† Telling her that the crowd wants to hear from you, that you’re the mayor that they want you to talk to them, and right now that
* Later that night, there was a violent clash between the protesters who’d come to block the ICE buses from removing two undocumented immigrants who lived in the area and the federal agents who arrived to clear the scene. † The mayor of Bend, Sally Russell, works on the city council with Barb Campbell.