Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins of Minneapolis, Minnesota was accosted by a group of protestors who approached her with a list of demands. In a report by the Star Tribune, the incident began after a Take Back Pride event when an activist approached Jenkins about concerns over groups who were being paid by the city to ease tensions brought about by police brutality and related issues.
According to activist, D.J. Hooker, Jenkins stated she had no control over these groups and began to walk away.
That is when a group of protestors surrounded the car Jenkins was in and refused to let her leave until she agreed to a list of their demands. They insisted that she sign a piece of paper agreeing to the demands as people in the crowd shouted, “We’re not asking, we are demanding.” After Jenkins signed the list of demands, she was finally allowed to leave. In a statement posted on Facebook, Jenkins described the ordeal as “being verbally attacked, berated and held hostage by a group of protestors.”
Andrea Jenkins has had an interesting and well-rounded career prior to her appointment to Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council I 2017. She became the first African American openly transgender woman to be elected to public office. Along with this position, Jenkins is also a writer, performance artist, and activist. Some of the highlights of her career include:
- Vocational counselor for Hennepin County
- Curator of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota
- Master’s Degree in Community Development from Southern New Hampshire University
- MFA of Creative Writing from Hamlin University
- Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services from Metropolitan University
- Completed the Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University
List of Demands
During her career as Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council, Jenkins has been criticized for using public events as photo ops and supporting the Minneapolis police department. The list of items that were presented to Jenkins by the protestors included the following:
- A Community Police Accountability Commission
- Reopening of all investigations regarding police killings
- Dropping all charges against protestors
- Make all information about the police killing of Winston Smith public and available
- Immediate resignation of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey who was opposed to defunding police
- Leave the George Floyd Square alone
Jenkins easily agreed to some items while standing her ground on others but ultimately agreed to sign the list. Many have criticized the protestors for their tactics. Jenkins herself had this to say.
“I have always believed in open dialogue where people can talk and be respectful of their differences. I continue to be willing to sit down with activists, advocates and protestors to understand their policy change demands and recommendations. I refused however, to be bullied and held hostage to somehow accomplish that. Every citizen of this city has the right to bring forward their concerns, but no citizen has the right to certain and coerce anyone to do anything, that includes elected officials.”