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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a news conference May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP file photo: Star Tribune)

Minneapolis mayor: Police conduct in 2020 unrest is ‘galling’

Newly released video that shows Minneapolis police officers talking about “hunting people” during unrest following the death of George Floyd has become an issue in the citywide election as Mayor Jacob Frey seeks a second term and residents decide if they want to replace the police department with a new agency.

Frey said the body camera footage that also shows officers kicking and beating a man who had surrendered is “galling,” the Star Tribune  reported.

“We need to make sure justice is done,” the mayor said, 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 right now and take the necessary steps to make it clear that this violent, toxic culture is unacceptable and must be held accountable,” candidate Kate Knuth said in a statement. “Instead of providing steady leadership and answers, we have a mayor who is fighting to uphold the status quo that has gotten us here.”

City Council President Lisa Bender tweeted: “Also galling is spending the last year sweeping this violent behavior under the rug.” Bender went on to say that zero officers have been disciplined. The city’s website says that in 2020 and 2021, one officer was terminated, one resigned in lieu of suspension, one officer was suspended and dozens received letters of reprimand.

The incidents captured on the body camera video happened on the night of May 30, 2020, and into the early hours of May 31, five days after Floyd was killed and two days after rioters burned a Minneapolis police station.

Officer Garrett Parten, the police spokesman, said this week that an internal affairs investigation is underway and he declined further comment. Frey told the Star Tribune that he feared discussing the issue would jeopardize the investigations.

 

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