Editorial: Time for Mpls leaders to talk race

Add the Star Tribune editorial board to the list of journalists who find no redeeming quality in Jay Kolls’ sloppy expose of Mayor Betsy Hodges door-knocking campaign in which she was alleged to have flashed gang signs.

Sadly dismissing the journalistic malfeasance — “mistakes happen” — of a station that is licensed and required to serve in the public interest, today’s editorial issues a call for people to start talking about the issue that’s been pushed aside in the week-old controversy — the relations between Minneapolis police and Minneapolis citizens.

In an open letter to the community in October, Hodges wrote that a small number of bad officers “abuse the trust” of the public, and she outlined steps she and Harteau were taking to improve the department.

The letter prompted a defensive Star Tribune commentary from Delmonico, who wrote: “When you speak of the ‘culture of the department’ that is ‘on a downward spiral and must be changed,’ you paint all officers with the same brush, since all of us are members of ‘that culture.’ ”

In reality, Hodges has repeatedly emphasized that the large majority of officers serve Minneapolis with skill and courage. Her efforts are intended to prevent the types of misconduct cases that “paint all officers with the same brush.”

The KSTP controversy gives Hodges and Harteau a perfect opportunity to highlight their reform efforts and gain broader community support.

The editorial also forgives both Hodges and police chief Harteau for saying almost nothing about the controversy since it broke last week, but suggests it’s a good time to start.