Two Minneapolis police officers who created a precinct Christmas display with racist ornaments at the majority-black Near North neighborhood’s district headquarters were placed on leave in response to fierce backlash from both the African-American community and public officials.
According to a photo (below) that began circulating on social media late last week, the tree in the MPD’s 4th Precinct was dressed with items including a cup from Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, police tape, a can of Steel Reserve malt liquor, a Newport cigarette pack and a bag of Takis.
This is a photo of a racist and derogatory Christmas tree at the Minneapolis 4th precinct. @jeremiah4north @CunninghamMPLS @Jacob_Frey We must demand an apology and commitment to build better community relations. This is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/xNq4CUZUu5
— North by Northside (@northxnorthside) November 30, 2018
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was one of those officials who was outraged releasing a statement on the same day addressing the incident.
“This behavior is racist, despicable, and is well beneath the standards of any person who serves the city of Minneapolis,” Frey said. “The inappropriate decorations were taken down. The officer was both disciplined and coached. There will be cultural sensitivity training and a community outreach event planned.
“Shifting the culture of the police department requires swift and decisive action,” Frey added. “Termination is necessary – both to discipline the officer and to send a clear message: Chief Arradondo and I will not tolerate conduct that departs from our values.”