By Reg Chapman
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (WCCO) — A Minneapolis city leader says she is traumatized after protesters held her against her will.
City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins says activists held her captive in her car for 90 minutes, while forcing her to agree to their demands.
Activist Donald Hooker Jr. — one of the activist seen on video confronting Jenkins — says he asked her about police accountability, defunding police and returning George Floyd Square to the people.
“We were having a conversation. I was trying to keep her accountable, and I said, ‘Well, we we’ll just have to show up and do a protest at your house, a friendly protest,’ and then that’s when she blew up in my face,” Hooker Jr. said.
Jenkins says she was traumatized and tried to defuse the situation by walking to the vehicle she came in, only to be surrounded and held against her will, while forced to agree to the demands of those surrounding her — including the immediate resignation of Mayor Jacob Frey.
“I walked away, and then he followed me here,” Jenkins said in the video.
Mayor Jacob Frey says he does not believe what took place is protected speech.
“I will certainly let the council vice president speak for herself. We did have a conversation and she made very clear that it was under duress,” Frey said. “It has nothing to do with First Amendment speech. First Amendment speech is about having the ability to express yourself, not the ability to compel somebody else under duress to take your position and intact your speech.”
He is furious Jenkins was held against her will.
“I don’t care what your politics are, Democrat, Republican, Independent. Everyone should be speaking out against this,” Frey said. “The issue you are fighting for, you should not hold people against their will and compel them to take your position under duress. That’s fundamentally wrong, it’s anti-democratic.”
But Hooker Jr. says it’s all about holding her accountable for what he calls her inactions.
“I do believe that she knows what the people want, and she understands … what the power of the people looks like,” Hooker Jr. said.
Jenkins declined to speak with WCCO Tuesday, but she shared a statement on Facebook, saying in part that she will continue to be willing to sit down with activists, advocates and protesters to understand their policy change demands and recommendations. However, she refuses to be bullied and held hostage to accomplish that.
Minneapolis police say Jenkins did not call 911 for help or file a police report.
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