A well-known community activist and the grandfather of a six-year-old who was shot dead in Minneapolis said defunding the police is “the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
According to KG Wilson, the push to defund the Minneapolis Police Department doesn’t have any grassroots support.
“We are here to tell you today that we need police. We need the sheriff. Send in the National Guard into some places. Just come in here and shut it down. We had a riot going on here long before the riots. That’s why I got one murdered grandchild and I’m at the hospital right now for two families of two children who’ve been shot,” Wilson told the Daily Mail last week.
His granddaughter, six-year-old Aniya Allen, was eating McDonald’s in the backseat of her mother’s car when she was struck by a stray bullet on the 3500 block of Penn Avenue North shortly after 11 p.m. on May 17.
“I warned about this. When you hear about a shooting and people say there were children there and they could almost have hit kids, that’s letting you know what’s coming,” said Wilson.
“I continued to warn that this was going to come but I never would have thought in my wildest dreams it would be my six-year-old granddaughter,” he added.
Allen was one of three children to be shot in the head in the last month. Nine-year-old Trinity Ottoson-Smith was shot while she played with friends on a trampoline around 8:30 p.m. on May 15 on the 2200 block of Ilion Avenue North. The Minneapolis Police Department announced that she passed away Thursday evening.
Ten-year-old Ladavionne Garrett Jr. was shot April 30 when the vehicle he was riding in was struck by gunfire. He is still in the hospital.
Wilson said “everybody’s afraid to speak the truth” about what’s happening in Minneapolis.
“A black person who was killed by a white officer … that’s something different. I personally don’t think it was purposely done, but it was done and somebody needs to pay. But we need a movement right here for what’s going on here; black people hurting, shooting and killing black people. People are afraid to tell the truth,” he said.
Wilson has been working with the police department for nearly two decades and thinks the best solution to the city’s public-safety crisis is to strengthen the ties between police and the communities they serve.
“We need police who live in the community, who people know, and they know the people,” he said. “They live right there and get out and walk among people and have events in the community for children. When you do that, the children grow up knowing the police.”
The 53-year-old said the defund movement is “not coming from the multitude of people.”
“I can tell you this, if I was a criminal, I would support it,” he said. “I would love it.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).