"Things that are done without us don't help us"

Sep 25, 2018

Janet Kennedy speaks before the Duluth City Council at Monday night's meeting
Credit ©Mike Mayou

It took more than three hours, but the Duluth City Council voted last night to table the Duluth Police Department's request to purchase over $83,000 worth of shielded helmets, body armor and crowd-control batons, among other items.

Proponents call it "personal protection equipment." Opponents call it "riot gear."

At a packed council chamber last night, members of the community alternately urged councilors to approve the purchase and table the request until more conversations could be held.

Whether it's conversations about use of police force or approval of the purchase of protective riot gear, one message seems to remain the same: some organizations and community members who feel excluded from the discussion want to have their voices heard.

Community members packed the council chambers last night for the discussion on approving the request for police protective riot gear
Credit ©Mike Mayou

The NAACP Duluth Branch issued a public statement about the vote after they and six other organizations met on Sunday to discuss it.

Earlier this month, they succeeded in having a "Use of Force in Minnesota" forum postponed until a neutral meeting location could be found.