Minneapolis activist whose granddaughter was shot dead says city needs police

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A Minneapolis activist whose 6-year-old granddaughter was killed by a stray bullet in her mother’s car outside a McDonald’s is pushing back against calls to defund the police, according to a new report.

K.G. Wilson’s granddaughter, Aniya Allen, was shot in the head as she and her mother were caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.

Wilson, a 53-year-old anti-violence activist who has worked to get kids off the streets and support families stricken by violence for nearly two decades, told the Daily Mail Thursday that defunding the police “is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I can tell you this, if I was a criminal, I would support it,” he added. “I would love it.”

Anti-violence activist K.G. Wilson tips his head back in anguish while waiting to hear the status of his 6-year-old granddaughter who was shot in the head late Monday, Minneapolis, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. She later died. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
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But he’s a pro-peace advocate, and he says communities facing staggering violent crime need police around.

His granddaughter was one of three children struck by stray bullets in a two-week span in the same Minneapolis neighborhood.

“When a 10-year-old was shot, I said, ‘Enough already,’” Wilson told Minneapolis reporters earlier this week, in video posted by FOX 9. “When an 8-year-old was shot, I said, ‘Way more than enough already’ … A couple hours later my daughter texts me, I missed her call, texts me, saying, ‘Daddy, get to the hospital. They shot Aniya in the head.’”

He has been calling for anyone with information on the shooters in any of the three cases to come forward and help solve the cases. He also said he had been raising his granddaughter to follow in his footsteps.

“I know she was one of the future leaders – because I was raising her that way,” he said.

Wilson has been advocating for peace in the streets since he was in his 30s – when Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo was a rank-and-file officer. Despite their efforts, murders in the city have spiked in 2021.

This year’s homicide rate in Minneapolis has nearly doubled over that of this point in 2020, police crime statistics show, with 33 as of Thursday compared to 18 a year ago.

“We need police,” Wilson told the Mail. “We need the sheriff. Send in the National Guard into some places….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.”

But in addition to left-wing calls to “defund the police” in Minneapolis and elsewhere, nearly 200 city officers have left the force in the year since George Floyd was killed on video. One of the four officers involved in his death, Derek Chauvin, has been convicted of murder. The other three are still awaiting trial.

Wilson has noted that large crowds of demonstrators often came from out of town and shut down roadways over the past year since Floyd’s death – but similar protests have not come since in response to the deaths of the three children.

Meanwhile, some progressive city council members and activists are still pushing to defund police in the city. In December, the council approved a budget taking $8 million of police department funds and rerouting it toward other programs.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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