It’s Wednesday night. The city of Minneapolis’ budget hearing is in full swing. People are on their phones. Kids in the audience are getting bored and restless. That’s when a woman with gray hair, a purple scarf, and a gray chest plate that looks a little like the apron you wear when you get an X-ray takes the mic.
She identifies herself as Susan Rose, a block leader in the Harrison neighborhood.
“I’m here tonight to oppose the proposal to reduce funding to the police department,” she says.
She’s referring to proposals from grassroots organizations to divert 5 percent of the Minneapolis Police Department’s budget to spend on stuff like community-oriented violence prevention programs and affordable housing instead. It’s an impassioned debate on both sides, but she’s about to take it up a notch. She tells the city council that she has "been in three gang shootings" even though she has done nothing illegal herself.
“Tonight I am wearing [what] I wear every day,” she says. “Level 3A body armor. This is what I have to wear to come out of my home in north Minneapolis.”
This is the part where you watch some eyebrows go up on the person sitting directly behind her -- an expression that says whoa, I did not see that one coming.
“We, the residents of north Minneapolis, have taken concealed carry classes,” she continues. At this point, people in the audience are not on their phones anymore. “We practice our marksmanship at shooting ranges, we have lawfully bought weapons, and we lawfully carry them.”
And how will these shooting lessons come in handy for north Minneapolis residents like herself? “In the future, you are going to hear that members of the public have returned fire when fired upon by teenage gangs,” she says.
Well, that escalated quickly.
Lest you believe everyone in north Minneapolis is wearing armor and gearing up to shoot some teens, responses to clips of the woman’s testimony on Wedge LIVE’s Twitter account are here to put your mind at ease.
But be warned, there’s a woman in north Minneapolis who is armored and packing heat. And if you weren’t as concerned as she was about getting shot before, you might be a little more so now.