MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - For the second time in two months, a worker with the anti-violence group "We Push for Peace", a group that partners with police to help de-escalate situations, prevent crime and support community engagement, has been charged after a fight at Cub Foods.
In the recent incident, police have charged Raphael Kelly, 30, is charged with two counts of assault and one count of disorderly conduct.
According to police, they were called shortly after 12:30 a.m. for the report of a fight at the Midway Cub Foods off University Avenue in St. Paul. According to a criminal complaint, the victim, a man only identified by his initials, rode into the store on his bike and rode up to the check-out aisle to speak with a clerk.
When he stopped, police say the man was approached by Kelly, who was contracted to work security for the store but wasn't wearing any obvious identification to show he was security, and told he couldn't bring his bike into the store, as Kelly pointed towards the exit.
Not knowing Kelly was security, police say the man didn't listen and instead tried to move past Kelly. At that point, police say Kelly grabbed the man, starting a skirmish, with each of the men pushing each other. During which, officers say the man on the bike was shoved up against the check-out counter and Kelly grabbing him around the neck. As a result, the man suffered a cut to the hand.
The man on the bike eventually left the store and called the police.
Trahern Pollard, founder of We Push for Peace told FOX 9 that he stands behind Kelly. Pollard says Kelly asked the patron to leave because he was in violation of store policy by riding his bike inside the store. Pollard says it was the patron who got physical, not Kelly, and denies that Kelly assaulted the customer.
In August, Pollard let an employee go after he was captured on a cell phone video allegedly assaulting someone outside a different Cub Foods location.
We Push For Peace is a community group focused on ending gun violence, and giving community members employment.
Since the police killing of George Floyd, many Twin Cities grocery stores that previously hired off-duty police officers to work security started using peace workers instead. Pollard says their contract with Cub Foods has allowed them to give around 125 men second chances.
FOX 9 reached out to Cub Foods for comment, but the company has yet to respond.