A paid peace activist was filmed beating a homeless man outside a grocery store in St. Paul.
“Get your bitch ass on n–, go,” a peace activist can be heard saying as he throws a homeless man, tearing his shirt, outside a Cub Foods. The activist is seen sporting a red shirt with the logo for an organization called “We Push For Peace,” which he was working for as he forced the homeless man to the ground and kicked him in the head, according to a video posted by Minnesota Crime Watch & Information.
The activist has since been fired.
We Push For Peace is a pseudo police force that can be hired to replace cops in areas that want less official law enforcement presence. They have been contracted by the city of Minneapolis. They also work with Cub Foods to deal with shoplifters in place of the police.
“In the past, you know, you had grocery stores calling the police because somebody was stealing a bag of potato chips,” Trahern Pollard, the founder and CEO of We Push for Peace, told KARE 11. “That’s not necessary.”
He claimed in May that his organization would deal with such a situation by addressing the root causes of the shoplifting, perhaps by buying the thief some food if he was hungry.
The peace activist who beat a man outside Cub Foods last week apparently believed the man he assaulted was shoplifting, which is what seems to have initiated the confrontation. However, rather than buying the shoplifter a snack, the peace activist backed him into a corner, beat him, then threw him across the concrete.
Speaking on this event, Pollard explained that “the young man was in the store doing a little panhandling, he had put a couple items in his bag that he didn’t pay for which is why the ex-employee started engaging with him in the first place, and all he was trying to do was get him to leave the location.”
“He allowed his emotions to get the best of him,” Pollard added, speaking about the former peace activist who was seen striking and throwing a small-framed homeless man.
Pollard also wants the public to “please understand that this incident was not about race,” as some have suggested via social media that this beating fits a broader trend that has emerged recently of black people attacking Asians.
“I hope defund the police and send out the ‘Community workers’ doesn’t turn out to be like this,” remarked St. Paul City Councilman Dai Thao on Facebook. He also called for the police to investigate the incident.
This call seems to have been heeded.
A St. Paul police officer was photographed speaking to the aggrieved man the day after he was beaten.
We’re being told that an officer caught up with the victim and is trying to help him out. pic.twitter.com/4mlMFipZYE
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) August 13, 2021