Black police officers

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Black officers become the police they wanted to see growing up

Alice White (l) with Blair Anderson

Among the nearly 60 recommendations of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force is the need to foster stronger relationships between police and the community. The president established the group in mid-December. Locally, some police officers have long recognized the value of such positive police-community interactions.

Well before recent police shootings involving Black males in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the task force’s March 2 report “[called] upon law enforcement to embrace the mindset that they are part of the community [and] put in place programs designed to promote positive interactions between police and communities.”

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Gang summit in Mpls

Preparing for summer 2014

The “invitation only” “North Side Safety Summit” (“Gang Summit”) was held April 18, 2014, in North Minneapolis at the School District’s West Broadway headquarters. The Star Tribune reported “why” April 19, 2014: “The city’s North Side has seen one-third of the city’s violent crime and half of the city’s shootings over the past 14 years… Violent crime rose 24 percent…due to more assaults and robberies…centered around the Folwell, Jordan and Hawthorne neighborhoods.”

The purpose of the summit was to find solutions for summer 2014’s anticipated gang violence. Star Tribune: “Some 70 public officials…gathered…to talk about pervasive crime numbers and how to lower them.” The “containment” until winter hibernation returns is not a solution. The real solution, as I wrote about in my April 3, 2014 column, is to end the city political culture that results in providing little for the least among us in education, job opportunities, housing, health care, and further decline in families and community. It should have been called the Summit of Denial. Continue Reading →

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‘Now is the time’ to diversify the MPD

 Veteran officers campaign to bring more women and people of color into the Mpls police force

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer


It is no secret that historically the relationship between the Minneapolis Police Department and communities of color in Minneapolis has been tense, at best. Between brutality, shootings, racial profiling and other problems, the tension has led to the creation of a civilian review board, and even at one point, to federal mediation. Yet the tensions continue. Minneapolis police officer Eric Lukes, a 27-year veteran of the force, is attempting to put into place a long-term solution to improve relations: recruiting more people of color to be on the Minneapolis police force. To that end, with support from the Minneapolis NAACP, Minneapolis Urban League, and the Community Standards Initiative, the first of an undetermined number of events was held Saturday, April 19, at North High school to generate interest in the community to join the force. Continue Reading →

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Chief Harteau announces dialogue — A public dialogue? Really?



The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops. The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, “Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents”). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. Continue Reading →

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What it’s like to be Black in the MPD — The chance for another Cincinnati?



One cannot begin to understand the current racial tensions within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) until one reviews the history of this tension. The tensions are there, extremely dangerous tensions. Many do not understand while others don’t care about the level of hatred and disrespect, professional and personal, within the MPD, towards the small core of Black police officers by many of their White colleagues. It is not unknown. It is ignored. Continue Reading →

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Sgt. Pat King moves across the street — Law enforcement officer moves to Henn. Co. sheriff’s department


Last week there was a lot of surprise and concern in law enforcement circles regarding how this new chapter in Cowboy King’s history could take place: being transferred to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department’s Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), especially in light of his having taken personal credit for destroying the Black Police Officers Association and destroying the career of fellow officers (see my August 29, 2007 column and December 14, 2007 blog essay). In the transfer, public officials again put fellow officials’ career survival/pensions ahead of their sworn oaths to do their duties in terms of public safety. Sgt. Pat King should minimally be censured, not celebrated. In the court transcript of a couple of months ago (I attended every day of that trial), he slandered a significant number of well-respected officers as “scum of the earth.”

Besides the transcript, see my columns of February 22 and May 30, 2012. Continue Reading →

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