Standing in front of the doors of a Minneapolis police station on Tuesday, Nekima Levy-Pounds officially announced her campaign for mayor. The announcement comes exactly one year after Jamar Clark, 24, an African American man, was shot and killed by a white police officer.
Levy-Pounds had announced her bid for mayor via Twitter earlier in the week.
Speaking just a few blocks from the site of the shooting, Levy-Pounds said the 18-day long protest held outside the 4th Precinct station in north Minneapolis helped spark her decision to become more politically active.
"It was a catalyst for me stepping out more on the front lines fighting for justice," said Levy-Pounds. "And even, ultimately, me leaving my job as a law professor after 13 years at the University of St. Thomas, to step into this position, to greater serve my community."
The officer who shot Clark, Dustin Schwarze, and his partner, Mark Ringgenberg, were the subject of two criminal investigations, but were not charged. And an internal investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department was closed with no discipline issued against the officers.
Levy-Pounds said if elected, police accountability will be one of her top issues.
"While we know there are many good officers out there, there are officers who have also abused their privileges and authority under the law," said Levy-Pounds. "And sadly, in the city of Minneapolis, those officers have rarely been held accountable for their conduct."
In addition to police and criminal justice reform, Levy-Pounds said she supports a $15 an hour minimum wage and said she will focus on ending racial inequality.
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