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Jul 23rd

Hold the Minneapolis Police Department accountable for abuse

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Hold the Minneapolis Police Department accountable for abuse

By Dwight Hobbes, Columnist

It is regrettable that the Minneapolis Police Department stubbornly holds onto attitudes and perspectives that, alienating and antagonizing African Americans, got it in federal hot water, necessitating the Police Community Relations Council to ward off Uncle Sam taking over the MPD, running it in a manner that respects urban minorities like they were white suburbanites.
It is regrettable that the Minneapolis Police Department stubbornly holds onto attitudes and perspectives that, alienating and antagonizing African Americans, got it in federal hot water, necessitating the Police Community Relations Council to ward off Uncle Sam taking over the MPD, running it in a manner that respects urban minorities like they were white suburbanites.

Maybe MPD brass knows something we the public don't. That is, maybe the fix is in and no matter how the department continues to foul over people of color - including police officers - the government isn't going to do a thing. Perhaps it's been arranged as a behind-closed-doors done deal that, when the allotted time for the PCRC to run its course elapses, the Department of Justice will give rubber-stamp approval and let business go on as usual. One thing for sure; the police force still acts like cops can do no wrong and have insured license to let racism run rampant.

The latest evidence is its mistreatment of homicide detective Sgt. Charles Adams. Adams contradicted the department's spin on the murder of Mark Loesch. Without foundation, actually through gossip (the word of a suspect that the detective and his partner Sgt. Richard Zimmerman had arrested) Lt. Amelia Huffman called a press conference and related the suspect's allegation that Loesch was in south Minneapolis trying to buy weed. Sgt. Adams, seeing as this allegation had all the appearance of having come from whole cloth - went with Sgt. Zimmerman to the Loesch family and apologized for the department's unwarranted sullying of Mark Loesch's name. After which Adams was transferred for being insubordinate. There has been nothing reported about Sgt. Zimmerman getting so much as a talking to.

So again, you have it that the MPD doesn't know how to let go of its obsession with keeping you-know-whos in their place. In official language it's "insubordinate." What they mean, of course, is the same thing racists always mean when dropping such terms as "insubordinate," "belligerent" or the all-purpose phrase "having an attitude." The word they want to use is "uppity." But today's politically correct climate precludes coming right out and saying that.

The fur started flying hot and fast as soon as word of Adams' reassignment (i.e. demotion) to another investigative division. Prominent Black folk raised pure hell, whereupon Chief Dolan and cohorts moved to mollify the restless natives by tossing them a cosmetic bone, transferring two Black officers to the homicide unit. Seeing through it like a pane of glass, nobody was placated and the proverbial stuff still sprayed the fan.

It's going to be fascinating to see how the situation turns out. You've got the police chief backing an identifiably poor decision by the newly promoted Lt. Huffman (five'll get you ten she's white with profound sense of privilege and an innate belief in racial authority) versus a twenty-two-year veteran whose track record (including no previous citing of supposed insubordination) demonstrates that he gets the job done damned well.

Yours truly can't be the only one speculating that the Minneapolis Police Department has a strong ace up its sleeve. You don't do this kind of thing unless you're confident that powerful entities have your back. Get to the root of what is going on behind the scenes, pull the covers off it and you may yet finally have the unthinkable - a way to hold the MPD accountable for its abuse. And a way to divest the Minneapolis Police Department of its insidious mindset, a plantation process and procedure that blatantly holds sway.
 

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