Armed Residents Patrol Minneapolis as City Council Works to Defund Police

Minneapolis residents have begun forming neighborhood watches and armed security groups to protect their neighborhoods in the wake of unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May, according to a new report.

While officers are still patrolling the streets of Minneapolis, some citizens have taken security concerns into their own hands, as was the case when a group of black gun owners responded to a call from the local NAACP in late May to patrol the mostly African-American West Broadway business district for nearly two weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Jamil Jackson, a leader of Minnesota Freedom Fighters, which advocates for black gun ownership, told the Journal the group kept the area free of looting or arson without firing a shot. 

“We were fired on,” he said, “but we weren’t going to return fire into a dark street.” The group, which has 45 members with a variety of backgrounds, including some who have military training, has since been asked to protect community events and has formed a security company.

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