Minneapolis included community groups in ‘Operation Memphis’ after Tyre Nichols’ death
In late January, Minneapolis joined other cities across the nation in bracing for possible protests over Tyre Nichols’ death in Memphis, Tennessee police custody.
During the week leading up to the release of Memphis Police body camera video, the Minneapolis Office of Community Safety built a coalition of more than 50 law enforcement agencies, including portions of the Minnesota National Guard, to help keep any potential protests from turning violent.
Planning for “Operation Memphis” included church leaders, community groups and violence interrupters.
Lisa Clemons, former Minneapolis Police officer and current director of “A Mother’s Love,” told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS her group was invited by the city to help keep protests safe if they happened that last weekend in January.
“It was disbelief. I mean, somebody’s actually including the community in a plan to make sure we keep the community safe, and members of the communities and families safe? Somebody in law enforcement is actually reaching out and somebody is doing that? I was very, very surprised,” Clemons said.
Office of Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander told KSTP “Operation Memphis” would not have been successful without the participation of community groups working in neighborhoods.
“And, they were enthusiastic about being involved. Everyone knew what their position was and what they were supposed to do and where they were supposed to be,” Alexander said. “And they were gleefully there.”
Alexander said the coalition also included the Downtown Council, medical groups like Allina Health, the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“This is all a great part of the work we’re trying to do in building and maintaining those relationships and making sure that our entire community was involved,” said Alexander.
And, after the weekend passed peacefully, Clemons said Alexander followed up with community leaders.
“He actually debriefed with us after the storm passed. And, that’s just never happened before,” said Clemons.