Something isn’t quite right here

If you’ve got family and friends from out of town, perhaps you, too, have fielded an unusual number of calls this week that start with the same question, “What’s the deal with Minnesota/Minneapolis cops?”

It should be a clue that, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world, something isn’t quite right here.

Richard Carlson, a former Hennepin County public defender, asks a good question in his op-ed in the Star Tribune today: “I’ve had enough. Haven’t you?”

Carlson says Minneapolis has led the nation when it comes to hypocrisy on race.

“I am ashamed of my city, of its arrogant, hypocritical police force, and of its civic leaders who have shrunk from taking on the elephant in the room for fear that they will lose the political endorsements of the all-powerful police union,” he writes in an unusually strident piece, even for a newspaper op-ed piece.

But he properly captures the frustration of many residents who are growing more than weary about the way we are policed, calling for the firing of the city’s police chief, whom he calls “ineffectual.”

Since the department can’t seem to hire and train anything but Blue Warriors, the council, rather than the department, should set the rules for what qualifies a person to become and remain a Minneapolis police officer. If the council doesn’t feel it has the expertise to micromanage how cops are qualified and trained, it can hire experts from foreign jurisdictions who don’t think of the citizenry as the people of an occupied country. The council should break up the entire command structure of the department, and demote, fire or reassign everyone in management, because these are the people who have stubbornly failed or refused to reform the culture of our paramilitary Police Department despite scandal after scandal.

I make no exception for the innocent, if there are any, because despite their oath to uphold the law, they did not stop the others.

Finally, the council should make it known that it will no longer negotiate labor agreements with the police union (yes, my Carroll ancestors are no doubt rolling in their graves), because for years the union has done everything it could to defend unfit officers and to block reform. If these things lead to expensive litigation by retrograde elements in the department, feel free to increase my taxes to pay for it. It’s time to decide who runs this town — the citizens, or the schoolyard bullies in uniform.

It is too early to draw conclusions from the latest police killing. There isn’t enough information yet and, besides, the police officer who apparently killed an innocent woman because he heard a sound that startled him isn’t talking to investigators.

But Carlson is talking about a pattern in his condemnation of the entire government of Minneapolis and, indeed, the Hennepin County justice system, he says. The signs of a problem go back at least as far as the night Minneapolis police officer Duy Ngo, who took his own life in 2010, was lit up by friendly fire in 2003.

Still, a cursory glance at the op-ed’s comments reveal that the public’s answer to his question is essentially “no.” Most people have retreated to their corners, unable to distinguish between a culture in need of inspection and an indictment of every cop, unwilling to find common ground in the basic premise that innocent people reporting an assault shouldn’t end up dead in their pajamas in a Minneapolis alley, cameras should be rolling and not at the whim of the cops who wear them, and police should be able to answer the question, “why’d you shoot her?” before the end of their shift. Oh, and throw in the occasional racism because the officer in this case was Somali, and the stew is simmering that will likely lead to a similar story again someday.

But none of that can mask the internal voice of Minnesota that is at least whispering, “something’s not right here.”

Related: Source: Cops Thought They Were Caught in Ambush (KSTP)

  • MrE85

    I don’t think we are much different than the rest of our country. When you think about it, that’s even more disturbing.

    • MikeB

      We ain’t what we used to be. We’ve lost what we had.

      • MrE85

        I’m not sure we ever had it. I think we’ve just been fooling ourselves.

    • Peccavi

      I grew up there, and have lived in New York and Chicago, and I have to disagree. The Twin Cities are beautiful, as are most people in them. We just try too hard to be nice it turns passive aggressive, and tough issues are simply not discussed. So let’s all open our mouths, and not just to shove hotdish in it. I know both can go terribly wrong, but it’s impolite not to try, after all.

  • Gary F

    I’m still wondering why they had two cops, both with two or fewer years experience ride together?

  • Bridget L.

    Are our streets that bad that a trained police officer gets startled and their partner shoots out the window of their vehicle while, I’m assuming, parked? Its almost as if they don’t know what they’re doing. Do Minneapolis cops shoot randomly while on duty at all startling noises, is this a thing?!

    • Bridget, I wondered the same thing. Shooting through the window is almost never a good idea, and basically right next to his partner’s face is even worse. We are going to have to wait for an explanation, but it is hard to imagine what could justify this action. (I used to do police work and did some of my training with MPD officers.)

      • Gary F

        It will be interesting when this all comes out what the testimony of the other cop was. A shot going off just inches from his body and killing someone less than a foot away. Yikes.

        • Wayne

          We may have to wait for his hearing to come back before he can be asked any questions.

        • grahampuba

          Officers have been given additional precedents on the job, as in they are able to use deadly force based on a perceived threat alone. I think that with this extra consideration that they should be expected to immediately justify their actions.

          • (((PropMan)))

            Being a cop doesn’t mean you forfeit the right to not self-incriminate.

          • Peccavi

            No, it means you should never be in that position in the first place.

    • Ralphy

      There are still some residual fireworks going off every night in my south Minneapolis neighborhood. Not a lot, just a few each night. Feels like I should stay inside, just to be safe.

    • Veronica

      Not to mention a street in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Minneapolis!!!!!!!

      • Peccavi

        Because rich people should totally be allowed to live more safely than the poor!!!! Ew!!!!!

  • kevins

    Perhaps have the constables patrol without guns? What could it hurt?

    • Gary F

      No cops would do it.

      • Ralphy

        Why is that?

        • AL287

          Because the bad guys out there are better armed than the police, that’s why.

          We also refuse to implement background checks on every gun purchase, including online.

          Thank you, NRA.

          Australia, on the other hand, took action after their FIRST mass shooting at a school and have not had extreme gun violence ever since.

          Are you paying attention, America?

          • Ralphy

            Exactly. The NRA has facilitated guns on the streets and fostered a climate of fear to get even more guns on the streets.
            The strongest motivator to change is fear. That is hard wired into our survival DNA. The NRA (and certain politicians) have marketed and mongered fear so successfully that we have implemented a solution to those perceived fears that is now even more dangerous.

          • Gary F

            Compensated confiscation, who will go in a get the guns that the people wont willing sell to the government?

            Do you really think gang members will follow any new gun laws?

            Blame the NRA, its so easy to. The decline of the inner city, a problem caused by fatherless children.

          • AL287

            Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

            Australia has already proven that.

            The guaranteed right to bear arms came about because the colonists were being forced to house British military before the Revolutionary War broke out.

            It was also a matter of survival on the frontier where wild animals were a constant danger as in bears and wolves.

            It had nothing to do with protecting yourself against criminals.

            It’s only 21st century idiots that have translated that into an entitlement and a license to kill.

          • jon

            We’ll certainly collect all those guns sooner if we wait longer to get started!

            I don’t think gang members need to follow gun laws, provided whomever is giving/selling guns to gang members follows the laws and STOPS DOING THAT!

            But we don’t even know where criminals are getting their guns any more… the last study (that I’ve seen) on that was done back pre-brady bill, back before congress defunded all gun crime research by the federal government.

            Is the problem that guns are being stolen from people’s homes? NRA lobbyist ensured that we can’t know.
            Is the problem guns being smuggled across the border? NRA insists we don’t need to know.
            Is the problem people with clean background buying guns up in bulk, driving them across state lines and selling them on the black market? NRA says you don’t need to know.

          • Ralphy

            I don’t think this is all on the NRA.
            I don’t think there is one single cause. Every problem has a solution and every solution creates a problem. The idea of course is to create and implement solutions that do more good than harm. No matter the solution, no matter the issue, someone comes out better, someone comes out worse. The art of politics is to manage this process.
            I do think the NRA was a solution in its day and now is part of the problem, and their refusal to acknowledge that and blame others is also part of the problem. Rather than their chronic double-down, the NRA needs to “man up” and own their acomplishment.
            I also think it is too late to get the guns off the street. The Pandora’s Box of a weaponized society was opened long ago.
            The questions we need to address are what kind of community do we want to live in and how do we get there. There is no point in addressing the second question until we have a consensus on the first.

    • Jerry

      Barney Fife rules. They can keep their guns but they only get one bullet and they have to carry it in their breast pocket.

      • kevins

        Love that idea. Guns change people fundamentally, especially the sense of power.

        • That’s true to a point. However, guns aren’t the issue. This is a culture problem. My unit patrolled in Kosovo for 7 months without a single firearm discharge. This was mostly kids under 21 being led by kids under 25, including myself. We treated civilians with dignity and respect because that’s what we were taught to do. Violence was to be a last resort and only the minimum necessary to resolve the issue was to be used. We weren’t frightened, even after we had casualties due to an IED, because we knew our training was good and we could handle the job we were given. This was the Army from 15 years ago. I know that the last decade and a half of war has fundamentally changed the military. However, I’d be more comfortable with those kids from 15 years ago patrolling our streets than the cops we have today. Something is rotten here and taking away the guns might limit the damage, but it won’t solve the problem.

          • 212944

            Well spoken, indeed.

    • Peccavi

      Apparently tasers and choke holds kill, too. De-escalation training has to be the way to go.

  • Gary F

    Can’t wait to hear the dash cam audio.

    • Ralphy

      I understand there isn’t any, as the dash cam was turned off.

      • Gary F


  • John O.

    Sooner or later, the misadventures of the Minneapolis Police Department and Betsy Dodges are going to have an effect on this state’s ability to book major events.

  • AL287

    Why would an officer have his gun in his lap instead of holstered? Somehow I don’t think keeping your gun in your lap when you’re in your vehicle is a standard part of police training.

    This is not the Wild Wild West. This is Minnesota and yes, I agree with the op-ed by Richard Carlson. Something is not quite right and it hasn’t been “quite right” for some time.

    I’m not buying the sudden noise crap. The story keeps changing and that is a red flag. The fact that the officer who fired his weapon isn’t talking to investigators is another red flag.

    An officer has to remain calm and he can’t be just shooting his gun because he heard a sudden noise. This puts the general public at extreme risk and a person who cannot handle the stress and chaos of policing does not belong in a patrol car or on a walk beat.

    What happens if a car suddenly backfires or someone sets off a firecracker? You find out what direction the noise came from and then draw your weapon, not the other way around.

    It’s time to clean out the Minneapolis police department and start over.

    • John O.

      It’s also up to voters to consider some changes in elected officials too.

      • MikeB

        The op-ed had some good ideas for reform. Expect these to now be major issues in the upcoming mayoral race.

    • Gary F

      So many firearm handling rules broken here. Things you learn as a kid taking a hunters safety course, things you learn as part of a permit to carry course, and things you learn as part of police/military training. Not sure of the protocol for when police can have the gun out of the holster. This may have been something as simple and stupid as keeping his booger picker off the bang switch.

      • Peccavi

        Thank you for taking firearms seriously.

    • Brian Simon

      I share your concerns. I was told yesterday that it is standard practice for officers to unholster their sidearm when they drive down alleys. This is allegedly intended to facilitate officers’ ability to respond to sudden action in close quarters; i.e. it would be easy for bad guys to ambush cops in an alley. The same source said the driver is supposed to carry their sidearm across their lap, while the passenger’s should be pointed forward. It seems that last bit was not followed. Also unexplained is why they don’t turn cameras on when drawing weapons. The largest issue is still, of course, why the department seems to shoot first & ask questions later.

      • BJ

        >it would be easy for bad guys to ambush cops in an alley

        Yes in the thousands (hundreds of thousands) of trips down alleys each year in Minneapolis, how many ambushes have happened?

        • Good question!!! This idea that police re in CONSTANT danger is so BOGUS. Being a police officer does NOT make it into even the top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs–that is, where workers are killed on the job: far MROE people are killed working as a farmer, cab driver, convenience store clerk, miner than as a cop. On average about FIFTY police officers A YEAR are killed on duty—the MAJORITY in CAR ACCIDENTS (how many of those are optional high-speed chases?) On the other hand OVER 1,000 civilains re KILLED BY POLICE—many of them UN-ARMED men, women (including obviously pregnant) & children.

      • Dan Turpening

        Jesus, So everytime I see police rolling thru an alley they have their guns in their laps waiting to be ambushed? What the hell! Kids play in alleys! People walk thru alleys!

  • Mike

    It’s good to know that someone is calling out the smugness of Minneapolis politics, where the allegedly liberal establishment that runs the city loves to pretend that real problems don’t exist. It seems we prefer to elect flakes (Betsy Hodges) and cheerleaders (R.T. Rybak) to prominent positions in city government, rather than sober, smart, brave people who will make tough decisions and challenge the status quo. This is at the same time that we nearly break our arms patting ourselves on the back for being so “progressive”.

    The Minneapolis police force has been out of control for at least 20 years. When you add up all the settlements that taxpayers have paid out over that time, I bet the sum would be staggering. Why doesn’t the buck stop anywhere?

    • // rather than sober, smart, brave people who will make tough decisions and challenge the status quo.

      Has that been done ANYWHERE recently?

      • Mike

        It’s pretty rare anywhere. But the insufferable piety and holier-than-thou quality of Minneapolis/Minnesota politics amps up the hypocrisy and irritation factor.

    • jon

      Clearly you’ve decided the buck stops with liberals.

      Here I thought not being shot by police in the streets for no reason was an idea that had bipartisan support…

      • Mike

        Liberals run Minneapolis; therefore, they are responsible. Or perhaps “liberal” should be put in quotation marks – because they are as phony as the day is long. For all the rhetoric about social justice that spews constantly from city politicians, do you think they might be able to walk the walk just occasionally, and hold the cops accountable?

        • jon

          OH!! I get it…

          The GOP controls the state legislature at the moment (and several times over the last 20 years you complain about), but the laws still allow cops to not be held accountable in places other than minneapolis (say falcon heights)… So instead of blaming them, we opt to pick the biggest city which has the most problems, and then blame the liberals in charge of that city!

          • Mike

            Take a whiff of those smelling salts and stop hyperventilating. My point is that if we can’t challenge the status quo, which in the case of Minneapolis government is establishment liberals, then these problems are never going to get better. I’m not defending the state legislature or (Flying Spaghetti Monster forbid) the GOP.

            Why do you want to let city politicians off the hook? Isn’t that partly why things are such a mess?

          • jon

            No one is hyperventilating here (well I can’t speak for you I suppose) and trying to paint me as hysterical to further your own argument is a poor debate strategy.

            You can blame liberals, not defend the GOP for their inaction, but also not hold them accountable for it either… just the liberals get held accountable… that’s a bit hypocritical don’t you think?

            You are filtering the whole thing through a partisan lens, and then going on the internet an blaming liberals… you are creating a divide where there need not be one…

            “Police shouldn’t shoot people who pose no threat to them, and should have to answer for it when they do.”
            That is not a partisan statement.

            Blame the liberals if you like, but don’t expect me to let the statement go unchallenged. This is not a partisan issue, no one party holds all the blame, the system was built to allow for these kinds of actions and NO ONE has taken it upon themselves to fix it… and we all hold some amount of blame for the inaction… liberal and conservative, catholic and protestant, jews, gentiles, nuns, clowns, etc.

          • Mike

            I’m calling out the hypocrisy of local politicians who love to talk all day long about “social justice,” while never doing anything – over the course of decades – to solve one of the most blatant examples of injustice, which is the actions of the local police. That is within their scope of responsibility, whether you like it or not.

            Keep blaming everyone else in various other places if you like. My opinion is that the buck should stop with the officials we elect to do these jobs. If they’re not up to it, I wish at a minimum that they would stop pretending that they’re such stalwart and progressive-minded public servants. They’re mealy-mouthed, self-interested, pusillanimous fools, the lot of them.

          • jon

            It’s been insinuated that I’m hyperventilating, and now I’m being told that I’m blaming everyone else when I’m actually blaming everyone, regardless of their political affiliation…

            I have a good idea where the buck stops for each of the systemic issues that result in police killing people, laws from the legislature, military hardware from the federal government a culture from the union’s, leadership from the mayor and police chief, the list goes on… but I’m sure that when it comes right down to it that “liberals” aren’t the only ones to blame, I mean if we are going to start blaming just one group for a long term trend or a systemic issue, it’s traditional (as of the last 5-10 years) to blame millennials.

            Any how it’s been fun, I’m done here, you clearly have little more to add to the conversation other than strawmen and trying to discredit me rather than my points.

          • kevins

            Jon..I agree and wish I had articulated my thoughts as well as you have. FYI do have a tendency to stereotype.

          • Mike

            It’s not stereotyping to note the discrepancy between the rhetoric and the actions of local politicians. That’s called accountability.

          • kevins

            Agreed…but when you preface your points with “liberal” you set the field of play as a we-they conflict, and my experience is that libs tend to be pretty heterogeneous on many issues. I suspect that there is a lot more “we” especially in the present case, but there always has to be a “they” as someone’s ideology always has to win. Conflict where none is necessary.

          • Mike

            It’s an undeniable fact that Minneapolis is run by liberal establishment types, and that this faction has been staggeringly unable or unwilling to address this problem over decades – all of their flowery rhetoric to the contrary. If stating that hurts people’s feelings, then so be it. It’s hard to change the status quo without conflict, or without anyone getting their feathers ruffled.

            It may be a cliche, but it’s true that repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different outcome is one definition of insanity. I’d say that’s where we are at the moment.

          • There are factions with the liberal establishment types that run the city (think Lisa Goodman-Barb Johnson v. Hodges faction), so in effect there are two parties within the party.

          • Mike

            That’s true of any “party” of any size (“party” in quotes because the elections are officially non-partisan). That doesn’t exactly make it diverse.

          • There was a time about 30 years ago when the Republican Party was diverse….but it was in the middle of a power struggle between the Eastern GOP and the Western GOP. The west won and immediately purged the party.

            The Dems had the same period during their civil strife.

            Both now seem to adhere to very strong litmus tests. There’s no room in either for dissent.

          • Mike

            Right, and even less tolerance for mixing ideas from both liberals and conservatives – in other words, the essence of compromise. We’ve become enthralled with the notion that our “tribe” (however that’s defined in various contexts) has all the right answers, and any deviation from that is treacherous. It’s idiotic and destructive.

            Accountability is not the province if any particular ideology, but in Minneapolis to criticize the DFL-affiliated machine that runs the city automatically makes you a rabid right-winger. These are very dumb times we’re living in.

          • the situation re:police who abuse their authority, brutalize & kill innocent civilains WOULD BE NO DIFFERENT with Republican/conservatives in charge. Just look at AG Jeff “Blue Lives Matter” Sessions or Donald “Law && Order” Trump

          • Gary F

            You get what you voted for. Its been a one party town for years. The city council is more interested in plastic bags then they are gun violence. Its always someone else’s fault, and never enough of someone else’s money. Once again, you get what you voted for.

    • Chris

      Please show me the “liberal” police officers who keep killing innocent people?

      • Mike

        Is it the job of the mayor and city council to hold the cops accountable, or is the police department just supposed to run itself?

        • Barton

          It is the job of the judiciary branch to make sure that all citizens are held accountable.

          • Mike

            True, but beside the point. If the job of local elected officials is not to provide oversight for various city functions, such as police, then why have them?

          • Gary F

            The police chief is a political appointment of the mayor. I know one Mpls Cop, he says that Harteau does a pretty good job for day to day policing, she has the beat cops trust and respect. EXCEPT when she has to implement policies to placate the mayor. He knows the police chief ultimately is just a pawn of the mayor.

          • jwest8

            You must know the only Mpls cop that has a favorable opinion of the chief.

          • Gary F

            He know’s the chief is a pawn of the mayor and not all that she does is really her decision.

          • The chief of Minneapolis has almost NEVER been a pawn of the mayor and isn’t this time either. Historically, the chief has been a pawn of the union.

          • Jerry

            It’s not like the mayor has a lot of power in minneapolis

          • theoacme

            “Pawn” would denote that Chief Harteau actually had some power (as a pawn can, in the right circumstances, capture a queen)…

            …I’d say “concubine”, or “handmaid”, would be more accurate.

          • Jerry

            Maybe they should try living in the city so they could have a hand in choosing the mayor.

          • actually the mayor is the pawn of the police union

        • The police unions pretty much prevent any kind of oversight. It takes a very special kind of leader to change the culture of a department. It’s obvious that Harteau isn’t the person to do that job, but whoever is going to have to fight and beat the union before we get any significant changes.

          • Mike

            Then the union needs to be broken. I would vote for a mayoral or city council candidate who vowed to take on the mafia-like culture of the local police department. Of course, most people wouldn’t do that for obvious reasons.

  • Barton

    Has my least favorite man, MP Union President Bob Kroll said anything yet? He is usually so quick to get the sound bite out there. I can’t find any coverage of his making any comment.

    His silence is shouting at me.

    • MikeB

      It’s probably best for all that he keeps quiet

      • Vern May

        You mean Kroll the Troll doesn’t add to the conversation…?!

      • Theatricality

        When has that ever stopped him?

    • Laurie K.

      It will be interesting to see whether the union backs this officer as zealously as they did with the officers accused of killing black men (Yanez, Ringgenberg and Schwarze).

      Edit: As well as the support the union gave the cops that shot Vietnamese officer, Duy Ngo (Storlie and Conway).

      • BJ

        Never going to happen.

  • jwest8

    I see that the police chief is still MIA. As is the police report.

    • John O.

      She is (reportedly) supposed to be back today. If it was left to me, I would have told her she can stay on vacation. Permanently.

  • JMR

    I was in North Carolina (where I’m originally from) when the Castile case was playing out in court. My friends and family looked to me wondering what exactly was going on in Minnesota and I didn’t have an answer for them. I’m proud to live here, but in the past few years the gun violence by police is astounding.

    The biggest question I have during these encounters with police is why was the gun the first response? Where are the tasers, pepper spray, etc? Why, if the police are really fearing for their life, aren’t they using other means to incapacitate the person who they are fearing? Better training, management, and recruits are what is needed. Isn’t the job of the police to *protect* and serve? In my opinion, killing a citizen isn’t protecting and serving – that’s the exact opposite of their job duties. To think, if I did the exact opposite of what was asked of me at work, I would be fired, not put on paid administrative leave.

    • JamieHX

      If you needed to defend yourself or your family from a threatening person, wouldn’t you choose the method that you’re more sure will work? Tasers and pepper spray don’t always work, and tazers take some time to power up.

      When police have to shoot someone, most of the time they ARE protecting and serving the public.

      • BJ

        26 police gun firing incidents in 2016. 13 dead from it, at least 3 are in the highly questionable in the public opinion area.

    • Guy Merlot

      I’m curious where you’re getting your data about astounding gun violence by police, as North Carolina police have killed 15 people this year to MN’s 5. Even accounting for twice the population I’d say your relatives have three times the explaining to do….

      • BJ

        or they both have the same amount of explaining to do.

  • KTN

    I see the lawyer representing the non-shooting coward officer has now come forward saying that the two officers would be justified in fearing (is there anything the police don’t fear) an ambush. Why would they fear that. Because a couple of weeks ago an officer in New York was ambushed – so of course that line of logic makes sense.

    If it happened somewhere else, well then of course it’ll happen here too.
    You can’t make this shit up – except if you’re representing a murderer with a badge, then twist and twist until it fits and removes any accountability by the killer(s).

    • crystals

      If they were fearing an ambush, wouldn’t you think they’d WANT those cameras on and recording? If this is accurate and/or is the story at least one officer is going with, it makes the lack of footage appear even more unjust.

      • KTN

        Exactly, but they were not fearing an ambush. If they felt they might be attacked, they might have called for backup before entering that alley. They didn’t know what they were doing, and pulling the trigger is the only means required to keep them all safe from the unknown (or women with accents).

      • RBHolb

        Hasn’t it been said that they didn’t have the body cameras on because it was just a routine check of the alley?

  • AmiSchwab

    the shooter cop didn’t have much respect for his partner’s safety either. idiots with guns cops or not. that’s why other countries say watch out in the usa.

  • Karen Cole

    Isn’t the union the problem? Haven’t they written the rules?

  • Guy Merlot

    I have so much to say and I don’t know where to start! This may sound off-topic but bear with me: I have a degree in dietetics, and worked in the field for years before I realized that no one will listen to me. The vast majority of people will find information online that fits the narrative they want or need to believe. Along that line, I have seen HORRENDOUS reporting by the media on scientific and scholarly publications. Articles that are incredibly misleading or sometimes that just straight lie! How do I tell someone drinking coffee will not in any way, shape, or form imaginable make them live any longer after they read it in the Press, the Tribune, the Times, and saw it on the news? So: I’m back in school at almost 40. I’ve met a lot of really cool people I would not have otherwise met if I weren’t taking classes. I met a really great gal from North Minneapolis who lives near my other friend from North and though their bodies’ produce very different amounts of melanin, they share a lot of the same worries, and both said they are in no way afraid of police. They both said they love their neighborhood but are afraid of all of the violence taking place. They also both said they empathize with the police.

    Have you been to the East side of St. Paul? You should – there are a lot of great restaurants there. But talk to those restaurant owners- ask them their concerns. Ask them if they fear the police. I live in St. Paul near a Wendy’s where they have to hire police to be in their restaurant from like 4-8pm. Ask them who they fear. This Carlson: (who I’m sure as a retired DA reeeeaaallly has his fingers on the pulse of the blue-collar man) I was certain when he said “elephant in the room” he was referring to troubled youth and gang crime. For Christ’s sake City Pages ran an article about it and read the comments! Are those people afraid of the police? Who do they fear?

    The Pride parade seriously is afraid of police and you’re marching in Minneapolis?! Find a mathematician and ask them your odds of being killed by a police officer in Mpls. versus being murdered by a random person. And then think about that, because that is fact. That’s not some opinion piece, it’s not what’s blowing up headlines on 24 hour news stations: it’s fact. Police take hundreds of calls a day from some seriously messed-up folks. And how many end up dead? And which hat should they wear? Social worker? Sponsor? Nurse? Friend? Psychologist? Psychiatrist? Pharmacist? Parent? “MORE TRAINING!” Good Lord for what?! To me the elephant in the room is no one wanting to sound like a racist asshole (which is a good thing) when they talk about why the police are scared and why if you display a certain character and dress a certain way why they- like every damned one of us- make decisions about what type of person you might be.

    Blue Warriors – that’s funny. Because if DAs, or reporters (see paragraph 1) or almost any other profession was under the microscope like the police are right now they would be absolutely screwed. Do people die because of their mistakes? No (not unless we’re choosing to scrutinize surgeons and doctors and nurses and in that case hold onto your hats, folks!). Should police be held accountable? Absolutely. It sounds to me like this guy panicked and made the worst possible mistake anyone could make. That’s why the cameras weren’t on (duh, people, seriously?) and that’s why he likely damn near killed his partner.

    I agree that there are police officers that shouldn’t be cops (just like I know you know people in your profession that have no business being in it), but I do not think it’s the majority; I think it’s really easy to play Monday morning quarterback.

    Michael Brown was a disrespectful thug that grabbed a cop’s gun, and now here we are. Have any of you stopped to think how we got here? I have, but I’ve typed way too much already, and you’re probably all on your fifth cup of coffee, anyway.

  • Gamini Kumara

    Only time Minneapolis makes it to the international news is when there is a police shooting ! A simple observation!

  • Ben

    People in Minnesota don’t want to admit that cities like Minneapolis have racist cops being protected, discriminatory quality of life enforcement rules, segregated communities based on race and income, segregated schools, widen disparities, and all too often institutional corruption in the form of Chicago style. The fact that a police officer with MPD had shot an unarmed civilian from overseas, had two internal complaints against him, had body cams turned off during the time of the incident, and both him and his partner proclaimed in a BCA statement that they were ambushed in an upscale neighborhoods with very low crime rates, just shows more cynical proof among the public’s perception that city services like cops are no longer to be trusted in the communities to which they are supposed to serve. Instead, police officers are seen as a bunch of narcissistic thugs being protected by a corrupt police union federation with ties to the DFL and city hall, who want to keep abusing the badge they wear and fleece taxpayers by terrorizing the mass population to which they deemed them as enemies: mainly unarmed citizens who never committed any serious crimes beforehand. You might as well make American law enforcement into an extension arm of Assad’s Syrian regime or Putin’s gang of oligarch criminals where the rule of law doesn’t even apply in society.

  • William Hunter Duncan

    Liberals had little to say when the Administration of O was flooding police departments with the hardware and training of the War on (of) Terror. Conservatives have long been reactionary defenders of all things police violence. Police do not exist to maintain law and order as much as to protect TPTB from the riff raff, which many a Liberal and Conservative are basically….ok

  • Peccavi

    I moved to Chicago from St. Paul. I find it telling that the citizenry of Minneapolis is described as “whispering” about the problem. That’s quintessential Minnesota. Until I moved, I didn’t even think you were allowed to talk about race. And that it should be required that an officer defend a shooting has got to be a joke. How is it not? When someone from Chicago doesn’t want to move back because it’s too dangerous, it’s time to actually talk out loud about these issues, instead of patting yourselves on the back for large Somali and Hmong populations while simultaneously ignoring the rampant segregation and passive aggressive racism.

  • nobluntsmokers

    If you condone and applaud corruption at the ballot box then this is what you get. The city has been run exclusively by one party for decades and decades and it never gets any better. There are more poor people, more homeless, more drugs, more violence, more murders and more blatant overt corruption than ever before. The city has become a miniature version of Chicago. It’s a machine with no conscience or humanity despite the presence of so many liberal altruist residents.

    • OK, I’ll bite. Let’s assume someone in your party ran Minneapolis. Please explain how Justine Damond would still be alive.

      • nobluntsmokers

        Hello Bob Collins.. Here’s what I am saying. There is a longstanding political autocracy in Minneapolis. This is irrefutable. If you do not have diversity in the political spectrum then you’re bound to reproduce the same political climate over and over and over again. There was a man named Albert Einstein who said “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” I am an egalitarian, not affiliated with a party. I also reside in North Minneapolis. I know it’s not safe and I also know that Minneapolis is an incredibly segregated city loaded with progressives that swear up and down that they are not racists. Yet the very same people applaud and vote for people that institutionalize corruption and racism in city government. Then there is all the shakedowns of business and commercial property owners. I remember when Betsy Hodges raised the millage to hire more police. The only problem was that she raised the millage for ten times the amount that she claimed she needed to do the hiring. Did you write an article about that or did you turn a blind eye? I already know the answer to that one. That’s the point and if you don’t get then refer back to Einstein.

      • nobluntsmokers

        But lets get to your question directly. Imagine for a second where the controlling political party was not slobbering on the jock of labor unions. There would be no motive to provide cover for bad behavior, criminality, incompetence or corruption in city government.

        You’ll never ever have tranparency or honestly as long as that level of collusion exists. It’s overt corruption and people get killed because of it all the time. But this time it was a well connected white woman in SW-Mpls and a PR disaster.

        You would not even write about it for more than one day if it was a black woman in Hawthorne. We all know it, especially you.

        • You didn’t answer the question.

          • nobluntsmokers

            You’re in denial sir. I did answer the question. The premise of your question was flawed. You made an assumption based on ignorance. You assumed that I was a political gang member. I am not. Just a poor citizen giving a perspective. The dirty little secret about political party affiliations is that less than 20% of Americans are registered with a party. Most citizens and voters are INDEPENDENT, like me. So stick that in your hat sir.

            This is simple stuff sir. You’re being obtuse the murder of an innocent woman and many others. It’s not an attractive quality sir.

            If there is zero cover and zero prosecutorial immunity for government employees that engage in criminality and/or corruption then this likely would have never occurred. If the playing field was indeed level as it should be …This woman and many others would still be alive.

          • The question I asked you was how would Me. Damon’s be alive if your party were in control of Minneapolis.

            I Don’t to hear a tired stump speech about what you think the flaws are in Minneapolis government. I want to hear an answer to the question based on your assertion is a result of DFL control of Mpls.

            Do you have one or are just going to throw out some word salad?

          • nobluntsmokers

            @ Bob Collins: I can eat your lunch all day on this sir.

            We desperately need reform in Minneapolis city government and in at the statehouse too. We have a sitting governor that ignored a lawful ballot referendum for gods sake. Corruption is rampant and it breeds conceit from top to the bottom. The citizenry are the victims. Because everyone in government knows they are practically above the law. This is the product of the DFL in Minnesota and it’s been going on for decades.

            Maybe it’s time to start electing independents instead of bobbing on the knob of your favorite political party?

          • And that would have prevented Justine’s death by…?

          • Does your comment “everyone in government knows they are above the law” also aply to POLICE OFFICERS???? It should—since the cop who murdered Philando Castile was the first to be indicted for killing someone in Minnesota history

        • Republicans oppose all unions EXCEPT POLICE UNIONS. Trump slobbered all over polcie unions during & since his campaign. Attorney General Sessions is pushing for “Blue Lives Matter” protections(as if the current IMPUNITY police have to brutalize or kill anyone & 99% of the time face no crimianl charges isn’t protection enough). Your comment plays politics. Given how the GOP is dong in DC with control of the House, the Senate & the White House—that is, SHOVELING mroe $$$ to Billionaires while DISMANTLING ALL PROTECTOINS of People & planet–in Minneapolis the GOP would onbly give away NMORE resources to Big Banks, Developers, Corproations & Pro-Sports teams–while FURTHER expanding the Police State. NO THANKS!

          • nobluntsmokers

            You do a lot of drugs don’t you Lydia.

            I was talking about reform. I was complaining about rabid dog political partisans like yourself. The DFL & the GOP both completely suck and are rampant with horrible and corrupt people from the top to the bottom.

            People like you and Bob Collins are the part of the problem. This woman’s blood is partially on your hands if you are defending the status quo in Minneapolis city government. The defense of one form of corruption over another is a mindless and utterly insane position to hold.

            So please put the pipe down and get sober.