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Mayor Frey: Police conduct during the protests and riots of 2020 “Galling”

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A recently released video that shows Minneapolis police officers talking about ‘chasing people’ amid unrest after George Floyd’s death has become a problem in the upcoming municipal election as Mayor Jacob Frey runs for a second term and that residents decide whether they want to replace the police service with a new agency.

Frey said the body camera footage which also shows officers kicking and beating a surrendered man is “infuriating,” the Star Tribune reported.

“We must ensure that justice is done,” said the mayor, without explaining how.

Some of Frey’s challengers and some city council members who say Frey should have done more to control the department were quick to criticize.

“He can act now and take the necessary steps to make people understand that this violent and toxic culture is unacceptable and must be held accountable,” candidate Kate Knuth said in a statement. “Instead of providing constant leadership and responses, we have a mayor who is fighting to maintain the status quo that brought us here.”

City Council President Lisa Bender tweeted: “It is also irritating to spend the last year sweeping this violent behavior under the rug. Bender went on to say that no officer had been sanctioned. The city’s website says that in 2020 and 2021, one officer was fired, another resigned instead of suspension, one officer was suspended, and dozens received letters of reprimand.

The incidents captured on body camera video occurred on the night of May 30, 2020 and the early hours of May 31, five days after Floyd’s death and two days after rioters set a Minneapolis police station on fire. .

Police spokesperson Officer Garrett Parten said this week an internal affairs investigation was underway and declined to comment further. Frey told the Star Tribune that he was concerned that discussing the matter could jeopardize the investigations.

“There is no one who is more inclined to criticize the discipline or the current layoffs than me, but there are clear laws stating that if I did, our ability to hold officers to account would disappear,” he said. -he declares. “I am not prepared to trade what could be a clear disciplinary or dismissal decision for political points.”

The video footage relates to the case of Jaleel Stallings, 29, who was acquitted of multiple charges after firing at officers who shot him with a 40mm ‘tagging cartridge’ from an unmarked van. Details of Stallings ‘case and images of his arrest were first reported by online digital media outlet Minnesota Reformer, and Stallings’ attorney posted the footage to other outlets this week.

The footage shows police firing tag bullets, also known as rubber bullets, at protesters and passers-by without warning and exchanging punches as they sought to enforce a curfew across the city. city.

The footage shows Stallings, who had a license to carry a gun, crouched behind a pickup truck in a parking lot. At 10:53 p.m., an officer fired a tagging bullet at Stallings, hitting him in the chest. Stallings told the trial he believed he was being attacked by civilians and had been hit by a bullet. He fired three shots at the van as a warning, then took cover. He surrendered when he realized he had shot the police, his lawyer, Eric Rice, said. No officer was hit.

Nearby surveillance footage shows Stallings immediately lying on the ground. Next, Officer Justin Stetson and Staff Sgt. Andrew Bittell punched and kicked Stallings, who couldn’t resist.

Additional body camera footage of Officer Joseph Adams shows he told Cmdr. Bruce Folkens that it was a “busy night”. Folkens said: “You’re chasing people now, it’s just a nice change of tempo. … (Expletive) these people.


(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Mildred Lasky

The author Mildred Lasky