Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists have demonstrated outside the Fourth Precinct police station in North Minneapolis since Jamar Clark, 24, was shot by an officer on November 15. On November 23, five protesters were shot near the demonstration.
The following day, I photographed demonstrators and asked them all one question: What are you afraid of? Here are their answers.
“Being a Pan-African women, I often feel as if my experience is not validated. I want my story to matter. I want my life to matter.”
“I feel like my fear—the amount of fear I had at the beginning—is just getting less and less and less. I’m just less and less afraid of standing anybody down because there’s just too many of us.”
“My biggest fear is dying at the hands of a law enforcement person, and that’s the honest-to-God truth.”
“I think that anger, no matter what it’s about, is useful as long as you use it for something. I think we can all get to a really compassionate place if we can use it. But if we just let that be it and lose understanding that there’s something beyond that—that there’s more hope and compassion, I think we can’t get there.
I worry here and elsewhere that people stop at anger and don’t use anger.”
“I’m mostly just afraid of the white supremacists who are coming here… and just the way that the police look at us. They don’t look at you like you’re human.”
“Well, I’m afraid of seeing innocent people out here harmed by people with malice in their hearts and bad intentions.
You know I have family members who live out here—like this is my mother. I grew up in this neighborhood, and to see people coming down here and harming people—that’s one of my biggest fears.”
“I’m scared for my people. I’m scared for all people. I’m scared of people continuing to judge people based on the color of their skin. I just want everything to be right.”
“I’m not afraid of anything. I welcome [white supremacists]. They have the same rights to holler, group, and grime as me. But it’s how they’re doing it. Don’t come down here intimidating me, because I’m not going to be intimidated. I’m not.
I spent 16 years in the army and I didn’t come to Minnesota for this”
“I’ve seen with my own eyes cops macing people behind the fence for no reason. That’s what I’m most afraid of. They’re here to protect peaceful people and they’re not doing their job. That’s what I’m most afraid of.”
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiegnelson.