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Garofalo issues apology for NBA tweet

Restaurant owner arrested; kegger results in athlete’s death; another police brutality payout; GOP’s Nguyen drops out; weather factoids.

Rep. Pat Garofalo
MinnPost file photo by James Nord

If GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo had planned to get national attention, he couldn’t have done better than what his NBA tweet is doing for him. For the Daily Beast, Robert Silverman writes: “[I]n the 2012-13 season, 76.3% of the players in the NBA were of African-American descent, and it strains the bounds of credulity to not see the racial component in his ‘zinger.’ … Fun fact: his statement isn’t true. According to statistics from the site Arrest Nation, in 2012 there were 6 players that were arrested. That means an arrest rate of 1.3 %, which (checks math) is lower than the national average of 3.8%.” He also notes that Garofalo is clueless about the NBA’s marijuana rules.

At Sports Illustrated, Ben Sin writes: “Anyone with enough common sense can read between the lines of his tweet. The word ‘street,’ much like ‘thug,’ has a history of being associated with black American males, and the NBA is, of course, made up of mostly black male athletes. Though Garofalo is rightfully getting shredded on Twitter, he has a fair share of defenders who believe the tweet was not only not racist, but speaks the truth. Sad.”

MinnPost’s Joe Kimball has Garofalo coverage here.

Meanwhile … Stribber Jennifer Brooks covers Garofalo’s (belated) apology. He said in part: “ ‘In the last 24 hours, I’ve had the opportunity to re-learn one of life’s lessons: whenever any of us are offering opinions, it is best to refer to people as individuals as opposed to groups. Last night, I publicly commented on the NBA and I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized. The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country.’ ” Does he have any opinions about hip-hop music?

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It always gets their attention … In the PiPress, Mara Gottfried writes: “The owner of a St. Paul restaurant who wanted people to leave the Rice Street establishment went outside and fired a couple of rounds into the air Sunday, police said. No one was injured. Police arrested the owner.” … and clearly trampled on his precious Second Amendment rights.

A kegger tragedy … . Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “One of several young people fleeing the bust of a late-night underage drinking party in western Minnesota was found nearby a half-day later and brought to a hospital by ambulance, but the effort was too late to save the star high school football player’s life. Michael C. Anyasike, 18, of Dawson, Minn., was identified by the Dawson-Boyd School District as the man who died Sunday.”

Protecting and serving … Matt McKinney of the Strib says: “A judge’s order in a Minneapolis police brutality suit last week pushed the city’s bill to $410,653.33 for two lawsuits filed against police officer Michael Griffin. … three payments total $410,653.33 and together amount to one of the larger payouts the city has made for the actions of one officer.”

He’s out … Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes, “With at least a few of his previous supporters withdrawing their support, Republican Secretary of State candidate Dennis Nguyen announced Monday that he was dropping out of the race. … Nguyen, who had captured early support from Republican lawmakers, had seen some of his backing dissipate last week after revelations that he visited strip clubs became public.” MinnPost’s Cyndy Brucato has coverage here.

At MPR, Catharine Richert adds the statement from GOP chairman Keith Downey: “ ‘The Republican Party of Minnesota certainly appreciates Dennis Nguyen’s willingness to run, especially since Mark Ritchie’s time as Secretary of State has seen rampant partisanship from an office that should be above reproach.’

Several items from Paul Huttner’s MPR weather blog … “The temp finally cracked 40 degrees at Rochester Sunday for the first time in 98 days, the fourth longest stretch on record. … The snow water equivalent, or total water content of the snow pack is impressive in northeast Minnesota. This will help the Great Lakes maintain water levels this spring. … we’ve melted/compressed 6 inches of snow since March 1 as snow cover has gone from 21 inches then to 15 inches this morning.”