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Minneapolis Police face surge of departures

Plus: Crown Bank CEO pleads guilty for misusing funds; state fairgrounds to host a “Food Parade”; meet the Minnesota Freedom Fighters; interview with Mayor Jacob Frey on defunding the police; and more.

Minneapolis Police Department, 1st Precinct, downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police Department, 1st Precinct, downtown Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Tension and retention. The New York Times’s John Eligon reports: “Veteran officers say that morale within the department is lower than they have ever experienced. Some officers are scaling back their policing efforts, concerned that any contentious interactions on the street could land them in trouble. And many others are calling it quits altogether. ‘It’s almost like a nuclear bomb hit the city, and the people who didn’t perish are standing around,’ Officer Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year Minneapolis police veteran and union official, said of the mood within the department.”

High interest loan: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Mark Reilly reports: “Peter Dahl, a former CEO at Edina’s Crown Bank, pleaded guilty Tuesday on charges that he used funds from the bank to pay his own personal debts, then tried to cover it up.”

Community policing. WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield reports: “The Minnesota Freedom Fighters are not trying to replace police but rather build relationships that help in the betterment of the community, which lacks trust with the police. ‘We just want our community to understand that they do have somebody they can count on and that we’re here to, you know, create a safer place, a place of peace,’ [Tyrone] Hartwell said.”

Related … The Star Tribune’s Libor Jany reports:Organizers of several Minneapolis crime-prevention groups have temporarily stopped doing street outreach because they say the city hasn’t paid them in weeks, even as gun violence continues to rise. … ‘They can’t continuously keep putting their lives in jeopardy out there, and walking around from 9 o’clock at night to 3 o’clock in the morning,’ [Trey Pollard, founder and CEO of We Push for Peace] said.”

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Q&A with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, including thoughts defunding the police. Jewish Insider’s Matthew Kassel reports:If we’re talking about safety beyond policing, I’m all on board. If we’re talking about having mental health co-responders respond to calls as opposed to officers, or with officers, I’m all on board with that, and in fact, we have a mental health co-responder program citywide. If we’re talking about social workers, to the extent we can have social workers take some of the calls that police would otherwise do — assuming the incident is safe — absolutely.”

In other news…

A help and a hindrance: “Residents near 38th and Chicago say they want their neighborhood back” [KARE]

Support the arts: “Arts board announces simplified grant program for MN artists struggling in COVID-19 economy” [MPR]

Meta-preservation: “Music nonprofit will move headquarters to historic Minneapolis White Castle building” [Bring Me the News]

Isn’t it always a food parade? “State Fairgrounds To Open Up For Drive-Thru ‘Food Parade’ Experience, With 16 Vendors” [WCCO]