Fringe candidates make mayoral forum spicy

Council-member Jacob Frey addresses the future of undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Mayoral candidates attended a forum at MCTC Wednesday evening that led to some interesting comments by fringe candidates.

Among the comments during the forum was a statement by Captain Jack Sparrow who said the shooting of Jamar Clark was justified, David Rosenfeld calling for a worker’s revolution multiple times and Gregg Iverson being worried about how crime is going to affect Minneapolis during Super Bowl LII.

Rosenfeld, a socialist, also said that he supported abolishing the police force.

“Why would you want to build trust in the police,” Rosenfeld said. “Don’t trust the police. Don’t trust the government. Don’t trust the Republicans or the Democrats.”

After Sparrow’s comment about Clark’s shooting, which drew a shocked reaction from Nekima Levy-Pounds, Sparrow doubled-down saying people of color exonerated the officers involved in Clark’s shooting.

Not to be outdone, Iverson addressed what he said “Black Lives Matter” meant and firmly stated “All lives matter.” Iverson then continued to give step by step instruction on how to deal with police, ending with “it wouldn’t hurt to say ‘yes sir and no sir.’”

Outside of the responses from the fringe candidates, the usual discourse of this election played out. Interim Mayor Betsy Hodges defended her four years in office and attempted to show how the city has progressed under her leadership.

Hodges cited her investment in community policing, a common and agreeable theme shared by all candidates with the exception of Rosenfeld who called community policing “public relations BS.”

Council-member Jacob Frey, who Hodges is now chasing for the top spot in Minneapolis, took a similar route as Hodges. He outlined his accomplishments thus far as a member of Minneapolis City Council, but was also critical of Hodges, saying that “we need to do more.”

Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney and prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, admonished those already in power saying she brought these issues (community policing, body cameras) up years ago and that community input has been rejected by the city.

The Minneapolis Mayoral race had 15 candidates this year (2013 had 35 candidates) vying for votes. Compounding the difficulty that 15 candidates brought, the DFL did not endorse a candidate for the second mayoral election in a row in Minneapolis, deciding to end the convention after one round of voting by delegates.

Raymond Dehn received 32.44 percent of the delegate vote, Frey 27.82 percent and Hodges 24.19 percent.

Levy-Pounds decided to not seek DFL endorsement.

“It is antiquated, a waste of time and money, and often excludes people of color, immigrants and newcomers to DFL politics,” she said on a Facebook page leading up to the convention.

Al Flowers, Tom Hoch, Ron Lischeid were also in attendance.

Candidate L.A. Nik had a place reserved at the forum table but did not attend.

The event was held, according to student government President Charles Karter, because there’s a connection between Minneapolis and MCTC, and that he hopes to find ways for the school and the city to work together.

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