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"Things that are done without us don't help us"

©Mike Mayou

It took more than three hours, but the Duluth City Council voted last night to table the Duluth Police Department's request to purchase over $83,000 worth of shielded helmets, body armor and crowd-control batons, among other items.

Proponents call it "personal protection equipment." Opponents call it "riot gear."

At a packed council chamber last night, members of the community alternately urged councilors to approve the purchase and table the request until more conversations could be held.

Whether it's conversations about use of police force or approval of the purchase of protective riot gear, one message seems to remain the same: some organizations and community members who feel excluded from the discussion want to have their voices heard.

Credit ©Mike Mayou
Community members packed the council chambers last night for the discussion on approving the request for police protective riot gear

The NAACP Duluth Branch issued a public statement about the vote after they and six other organizations met on Sunday to discuss it.

Earlier this month, they succeeded in having a "Use of Force in Minnesota" forum postponed until a neutral meeting location could be found.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.