Minneapolis, MN – Members of the Original Black Panther Party, led by King Rick, gathered on the south plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center on March 12, 2021, calling for justice to be done in the trial of Derek Chauvin. They spoke to Unicorn Riot alongside members of the Yellow (Asian) Panthers about the ongoing Chauvin trial, institutionalized white supremacy, and Black economic development.
With lineage tracing back to 1966, the Original Black Panther Party is still around, fighting against “racism, oppression, injustice, inequality, and police brutality,” said King Rick.
A week into the proceedings of the Chauvin trial, Rick said they were there “at ground zero for the revolution” to hold Minneapolis, “the police department, the DA, and everyone involved in the Derek Chauvin trial” accountable.
“The laws and attitude of America were never designed to protect the people, but to oppress us.
America was built on violence. America was built on racism. America was built on oppression and injustice and inequality and definitely police brutality.“King Rick, Leader of Original Black Panther Party
King Rick said justice will come when Black people are no longer profiled, murdered, and “subjected to the deplorable social and economic conditions that plaque every urban city.” He compared the downtown’s of Milwaukee, where he is based, and Minneapolis, saying they have billions of dollars of business, “but in the Black and Brown community, you have crumbs.”
Economic development is what’s needed, King Rick says. With that, crime rates drop, schools improve, and people live a better life. He said the power lies within the people and it must be used effectively.
“African Americans spend over $1.2 trillion a year on goods and services. That’s power. Just think if we stopped spending our money with everybody and spend it with us, the economy would go broke.”King Rick, Leader of Original Black Panther Party
Financial literacy is the new revolution, says King Rick.
The General of the Minneapolis Chapter of the Original Black Panther Party said the local chapter began last year with the uprisings after George Floyd was killed “lit the fire.” He said they were tired of being tired and wanted action and change.
“We decided to put a stamp on it now to say this ends. No longer do we accept the scraps .. We’re not asking no more. We’re not politely singing. We’re not joining hands. We’re not doing any of that shit no more. We don’t sing Kumbaya. We’re here to put our place in history as our forefathers have.”General of Minneapolis Black Panther Party
Minneapolis’ General called the jury selection process in the Chauvin trial a “shit show” and a “circus” and said he doesn’t expect anything from the courts as Black and Brown people are “put under the damn jail any and every time” the government has opportunity to. He said to not be surprised if “we’re hit with a whammy” and Derek Chauvin gets off.
Bertronic Lee, a member of the Yellow Panther Party of Minnesota said he was there “for justice” because “many of our community has been brutally murdered by police.” The Yellow Panthers are of Asian origin. This comes at a time when racist incidents and attacks against Asians are increasing.
The gathering of Panther members happened just hours after the historic $27 million settlement between the City of Minneapolis and George Floyd’s family. King Rick said that family “deserves that, but by no means does that exonerate the murderer cop Derek Chauvin.“
#Exclusive: We heard from King Rick & another Black Panther Party member as well as a Original Yellow Panther Party member outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the #DerekChauvinTrial is taking place. More media to come. https://t.co/Ua3V48EVBJ pic.twitter.com/nx8lWtFohx
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) March 13, 2021
Unicorn Riot previously spoke with King Rick in 2016 at the Heal the Hood Block Party in Milwaukee.
“Instead of depending upon police, we need to police ourselves. In order to do that, we’ve got to have complete unity, by any means necessary. Take back our schools, our finances, and our community.“King Rick – Heal The Hood circa 2016
Watch the full interview with the Panthers on March 12, 2021, below.