Detroit Will Breathe’s Co-founder Nakia Wallace wrote an open letter to Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones today. Detroit Will Breathe is an activist organization born out of the aftermath of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s deaths at the hands of police earlier this year. 

Wallace penned the letter in response to Councilmember Jones’ statement, released Tuesday, and her record.

In her statement, Jones said she would not support a council resolution that would drop charges against protesters. She believes law enforcement should determine whether demonstrators are charged. 

 “In accordance with law, and out of respect for the three branches of government, I must allow the criminal justice system to address these charges,” said Jones.

Jones also questioned the residency of people who have reached out to her office in support of the resolution. 

The council members remarks came after the video of a Detroit Police Department SUV drove through a crowd of protesters went viral. Protesters have marched daily in Detroit since May. 

In her letter to Jones, Wallace asked why city officials take the side of “the oppressors” and refuse to stand with young Black Detroiters.

“You have never fought for the removal of police with guns, tasers, and other weapons from our schools,” Wallace said in the letter. “You have never stood up against school closings or police violence. And you have never opposed the closing of our libraries or funds being pillaged from us. Yet at the same time, you and those aligned with you, say that you stand with protesters and believe Black Lives Matter, but y’all don’t mean it. You have never meant it.” 

Should police officers involved in acts of aggression towards protesters be fired? 

Should protesters be charged? Listen to the conversation between BridgeDetroit reporter Bryce Huffman and Wallace and please let us know your thoughts.

Bryce Huffman is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. He was formerly a reporter for Michigan Radio, and host of the podcast, Same Same Different.

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