On Wednesday, black community leaders held a press conference at the Minneapolis City Hall to make a public request for an independent investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department. After a number of incidents, involving blacks, community leaders believe that the officers actions are racially motivated. MPD is notorious for using excessive force, derogatory language and for not disciplining officers for misconduct. Instead, city officials have been willingly paying out large settlements to victims and family members of victims.
One of the more notable incidents, that is believed to have been racially motivated, is the shooting death of 22-year-old Terrence Franklin. On May 10th, Franklin was caught red handed by MPD officers breaking into a home. Officers first sent in a K9 but Franklin began wrestling with the dog. That’s when officers decided to enter the home themselves. A struggle occurred ending with two officers being shot in the leg and Franklin being fatally shot multiple times. All the shots came from a MPD issued MP5. A Hennepin County grand jury is determining if the officers rightfully shot Franklin or if they should be charged with murder.
The entire nation is familiar with the Trayvon Martin case and see it as “…a travesty of justice…”. Can this also be said for the fatal shooting of Terrence Franklin?
In July, two off duty MPD officers where partying in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when they supposedly used racially derogatory language. It is also being reported that they made sexual derogatory comments about openly lesbian Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau. Another case has surfaced that accuses two off duty MPD officers of using racial slurs at an Apple Valley, Minnesota, bar. It is being said that the off duty officers used the “n-word” and said “…your kind aren’t welcome here.”.
Community leaders are demanding that the states Public Safety Commission conducts an independent investigation of all Twin Cities police departments and the Hennepin County Sherriff’s Office. They want all officers fired who have used racist language or excessive force. They are seeking the support of the police union’s and that all officers who are suspended don’t receive pay. They also feel that there should be an impartial investigation into the fatal shooting of Terrance Franklin.