The trespass charges against Antoine, Damion, Ms. Stewart and her son have been dismissed for lack of evidence! Thank you to everyone who rallied, made phone calls, and showed up to court dates!
The charges, now proven to be unfounded, were the result of a crackdown by the Minneapolis Police on homeless residents living in vacant foreclosed homes in which 3 homes were evicted and 7 arrests were made in 10 days. These evictions took place outside of the legal judicial eviction process and in violation of the MPD’s own protocol for dealing with foreclosure protests. Antoine and Damion were initially held without bail for 36 hours and charged with felony possession of burglary tools, but those charges were downgraded to trespassing in March after 50 community members marched on City Attorney Susan Segal and Police Chief Janee Harteau’s offices.
We expect charges will be dropped against Teanna, the last defendant, in the coming days.
Antoine, who found himself homeless despite working nearly his entire adult life, has been living in reclaimed homes for the past 16 months while developing the leadership of others facing housing instability and building community support. Ms. Stewart and her family were evicted from their apartment days before Christmas and found shelter in a restored vacant home in North Minneapolis.
We are thrilled that these unfounded charges were dropped. However, that does nothing to change the fact that the MPD used our public resources to unjustly throw homeless people of color out of a stable shelter, leaving more boarded up more properties in our neighborhoods while homelessness in Hennepin County is the highest on record.
We will continue building community power to stop unjust foreclosures and evictions while fighting to ensure everyone has access to safe affordable housing as a basic human right.
We will continue to demand policy solutions to restore the wealth that has been stolen from our communities by Wall Street's fraud and greed. We look forward to engaging our elected officials to enact these solutions.
Stay tuned for an announcement about our next big campaign in the coming days!
We will not be intimidated. We will not be moved. Join us.