Nekima Levy-Pounds, a prominent figure in Minneapolis’ Black Lives Matter movement and vociferous critic of the recent police shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, announced on social media that she will be running for Mayor of Minneapolis.
Levy-Pounds, 40, announced her intentions to run for mayor on her Facebook and Twitter pages and will hold a press conference across from the 4th Precinct at noon on Tuesday to make an official announcement of her candidacy for the next election cycle. Her announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark, which involved two police officers from this precinct.
— Nekima Levy-Pounds (@nvlevy) November 14, 2016
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in March that evidence in the Clark case did not warrant charges against the police officers. According to the Minneapolis Police Department, the officers involved in the Clark shooting would not face any disciplinary action.
In addition to her involvement with Black Lives Matter, Levy-Pounds is also an attorney who was a law professor at the University of St. Thomas and was the president of the Minneapolis NAACP until she stepped down in October. It was only this past May that Levy-Pounds announced that she was leaving St. Thomas to further pursue her “calling as a freedom fighter and advocate for racial and social justice,” according to MPR.
Levy-Pounds also played a prominent role in the protests that followed the shooting of Philando Castile on July 9th, 2016. She was arrested during a protest that shut down I-94. Previously, she was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing for her role in a protest against police brutality at the Mall of America in December 2014. She calls her activism “controversial.”
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is also expected to run for re-election and will make a formal announcement of her candidacy later in the year. The election will be held in November 2017.