The two Minneapolis police officers who decorated their precinct’s Christmas tree with racially insulting items remained on paid leave despite their history of complaints and shootings in the predominantly Black community they serve.
Officials demoted the Fourth Precinct’s commander Aaron Biard on Monday while an internal investigation of the two officers continued, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
The newspaper identified the cops as Mark Bohnsack and Brandy Steberg, both 21-year veterans, based on several sources.
Instead of traditional decorations like candy canes and reindeers, Bohnsack and Steberg allegedly placed items that included a Newports cigarette pack, can of Steel Reserve malt liquor and cup from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on the precinct’s Christmas tree. Images of the tree surfaced on social media Friday. They were placed on paid leave the same day.
The Fourth Precinct is plagued by poor relations with the Black community it serves. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who is Black, has been struggling to build trust with the community after a series of high-profile police-involved shootings, including Jamar Clark in 2015 and Thurman Blevins in June 2018.
While Bohnsack and Steberg have had several commendations, they also had at least three separate fatal police shootings that did not result in indictments and numerous complaints on their records. Bohnsack had at least 12 complaints since 2013—one of them was ongoing as of Tuesday. Steberg went unpunished in two complaints. He was also named as a defendant in three federal court cases involving alleged use of excessive force.
None of the above instances ended in any disciplinary action.
On Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the Christmas tree was a “racist display” and called for the officer to be fired. But the mayor’s spokesman stepped on the brakes, noting that there’s a legal process required before dismissing the officers.
Four days later, their boss was demoted but the officers were still collecting paychecks and assigned to a precinct that serves a community they disrespect.
UNC Pledges Millions To Give 'Silent Sam' Confederate Monument A New Home On Campus
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So basically, UNC is saying its hands are tied by state law restrictions on moving monuments. So university officials are recommending building a NEW building for #SilentSam. Cost and location not divulged just yet.— Jane Stancill (@janestancill) December 3, 2018
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#SilentSam screams out to the world and the nation. "Look at us racist unreconstructed knuckle dragging goobers down here in NC!!" Great for racial purity niche tourism. Bad for overall business. #hoboheretic #marketing101 Enjoy.— Tim Fuller (@thetimchannel) December 3, 2018
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Gov. Cooper on Silent Sam decision says “I believe those monuments should not be in a place of honor, but should be studied as a part of history in a museum. “ Cooper’s comments came at the NC Farm Bureau convention in Greensboro. #SilentSam #farmbureau @SpecNewsTriad pic.twitter.com/nirL0F7UGq— Bob Costner (@bobcostner) December 3, 2018
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Terrible idea. Pandering to those who support white supremacy and using money that could be better spent on student needs. Also, NC GOP in the legislature is complicit for their 2015 law that makes it impossible for the school to move #SilentSam off campus. https://t.co/d6DUcUbyZA— Lisa Jackson (@AnyaLogan) December 3, 2018
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Really @UNC ? Your plan for #silentsam is to pay $5.3 mil up front and $800k recurring costs TO ERECT A WHITE SUPREMACIST MONUMENT IN 2019? I'm a Tar Heel born and bred, hold 3 degrees from y'all, and pretty much all my family went there too, but I can't give you another dime. https://t.co/xtp6z4Vk5G— Daniel Harper (@HarperOfScience) December 3, 2018
Fire Them! Cops In ‘Racist’ Christmas Tree Incident Have History Of Unpunished Shootings And Complaints was originally published on newsone.com