Beyond Protests: N. Mpls mothers encourage community resolution

After nearly a week of demanding answers outside of the Minneapolis Police's 4th precinct, we take you to a surrounding neighborhood and share the stories of two north side mothers. These two women hope we look beyond the stigma hovering over north Minneapolis and instead think of the children and their families who call it home. 

There’s a lot of love inside the home of Shanene Herbert and Melissa Mercedes. Only blocks away remain the outcries demanding justice for Jamar Clark remain loud and clear. 

“I’m sick and tired of all of this still going on! It was on before I was born, after I was born and all of my life. When does it stop?” Betty Ellison-Harpole asks with tears in her eyes. 

Many insist the demonstrations continue.

“It should go on until it is dealt with in a court of law,” said another protester. 

Police have said Clark reached for an officer’s handgun, while some believe he was handcuffed when shot in the head by an officer last Sunday.

“I know that great people live in this neighborhood, and for us to go through this thing with law enforcement, with government agencies coming in, its traumatic!” Herbert exclaimed. 

“We have to continue to pour love into our children. They’re affected by this too. We can’t just put them on the school bus in the morning and say ‘have a good day!’ when they experienced a helicopter flying overhead and couldn’t sleep because of it,” Melissa Mercedes said, shaking her head. 

The hopeful mother also encourages protesters to plan beyond the demonstration. 

“We have to take action. We have to have commitment by those who say they’re here because of [Jamar Clark]. OK. Where are you tomorrow?” Mercedes said. 

Herbert, who is also an educator, notes that the FBI and U.S. attorney have called for an investigation into Jamar Clark’s death. Herbert doesn’t expect everyone to be happy with the outcome, but she hopes the community will stand together and be prepared to move forward.