Residents concerned about Minneapolis Police Department

Ward 13 neighbors write letter to vice president Palmisano outlining issues and calling for transparency and public hearings


Prior to a community safety meeting tonight at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, a group of Ward 13 neighbors have released an open letter to Minneapolis Council Vice President Linea Palmisano. The Southwest Connector has reached out to Palmisano's office for comment.

Here is the full letter:

Dear Council Vice President Palmisano,

We are your constituents in Ward 13, and we want you to hear us clearly. As the person designated to represent us in Minneapolis’ government, we want you to use your voice and power to fix the existing public safety systems that are failing to keep us safe.

Our top priority is a safe city and a safe Ward 13. Public safety looks different to us than it seems to look to you. While we, like you and everyone else in our city, are concerned about recent increases in crime, we believe our city’s current approach to public safety is doing severe, long-lasting damage to our neighbors' lives and is crippling city finances.

Understand that we, your constituents:

  • Don’t want our safety built on other people’s oppression;
  • Will not condone the murder of our neighbors by police;
  • Know that an unaccountable MPD leaves us all unsafe;
  • Are concerned about root causes of crime and want them addressed;
  • Do not consent to continuing to fund the skyrocketing costs of policing failures and misconduct with our taxpayer dollars.

Tonight’s meeting is challenging for us, because it feels wrong to attend a meeting about public safety with MPD at the table without first acknowledging the complete mistrust that exists between MPD and the community.

We are perplexed by your trust in a policing system that leaves us all unsafe, and the way you ignore the systemic and cultural toxicity within the MPD. We've seen just how unsafe this endemic toxicity makes us as Minneapolis residents, whether we live in Camden, Cedar Riverside, or Linden Hills.

Since George Floyd was murdered two years ago, a crime by MPD officers whose violence and depravity sent shock waves around the world, so many other shocking and unacceptable things have happened, with no accountability: three other Black men have been killed by the MPD; the MPD has targeted journalists and protestors with violence, undermining essential constitutional rights; reports have shown an astounding lack of emergency preparedness within Mayor Frey’s office and the MPD; we’ve seen repeatedly racist behavior from the MPD; the MPD is reportedly spearheading widespread surveillance on us and our neighbors; and the MPD has retaliated against officers who speak out on their department’s toxic culture. And that’s not all.

The chaos, toxicity, and violence within MPD has bred a lack of credibility and trust – leading to poorer public safety for all of us.

Given all of the above, here are our top three requests for you:

We’d also like you to respond to the following requests at another public event this spring:

  • Discontinue your efforts to establish an Office of Independent Monitor. Over 30 years of Minneapolis history tells us these community oversight boards always fail to create meaningful change, as they never have the authority to impact policy. We already have a City Audit Committee, a Police Conduct Oversight Commission, and a Community Safety Workgroup. Until we have evidence that these existing groups are able to do work without the City’s obstruction, do not create more ineffective bureaucracy.
  • Call on Mayor Frey to take responsibility for lying about banning no-knock warrants, and demand he create a stronger no-knock policy that meets the standards set forth by the Warrant Policy Model Legislation and Rubric. Even his “new” and recently announced “prohibition of no-knock warrants” still has loopholes and would not have saved Amir Locke.
  • Immediately call for the firing of Mark Hanneman, an officer with a history of discipline issues, who executed Amir Locke on February 2nd.
  • Support a public hearing of the After Action Report.
  • Denounce the City Attorney’s totally inappropriate subpoenaing of journalists. Retract your support for Operation Safety Net, and denounce government surveillance of protestors and journalists, as reported in MIT Technology Review.
  • Retract your support for chemical weapons, tear gas, and “less lethal” munitions used by MPD at racial justice protests, which has led to over 80 injuries. (Ten patients sustained eye trauma from projectiles; seven patients underwent surgery for their injuries; 16 patients received traumatic brain injuries; two journalists lost an eye.) You voted to continue supporting use of these weapons in 2021. This kind of force also results in large city settlements.
  • Immediately provide a status update on your 2019 task force focused on unregulated MPD off-duty work. Explain why you have provided no guidance for monitoring the widespread practice of off-duty work and MPD officers’ lucrative cash compensation from businesses for this work. This is especially important to us, as our neighbor in Ward 13, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, was killed by an officer who had had “just 90 minutes rest after working a seven hour security shift before clocking in for his 10 hour shift with MPD” (Minnesota Reformer).

This is a watershed moment in Minneapolis. We hope you will see this moment as an opportunity to establish your reputation as a champion of justice, one with whom we can work in solidarity in the coming years.


Concerned Ward 13 Residents

Signatures From Your Ward 13 Constituents

If you would like to sign, click here.


Tyler Bailey, Kenny

Jenny Bendee, Fulton

Molly Bloom, Kenny

David Booth, Lynnhurst

Monica Campo, Linden Hills

Cecelia Caspram, Lynnhurst

Chelsea Chase, West Maka Ska

Janet Dahlem, Kenny

Andrea Davila, Fulton

Ted Duepner, Kenny

Jessica Deweerth, Fulton

Annie Dressen, Kenny

Jenny Floria, Fulton

Sarah Friese, Armatage

Jacob Froelich, Linden Hills

Ryan Greenwood, Lynnhurst

Rafi Golberstein, Linden Hills

Chris Henjum, Kenny

Stephen Heuer, Lynnhurst

Robert Haider, Linden Hills

Jean Heyer, Lynnhurst

Libby Holden, East Harriet

Dani Hofstad, Linden Hills

Tracy Holtan, Fulton

Kristen Ingle, Fulton

Mathew Ingle, Fulton

Nance Kent, Linden Hills

Rachael Klahr, Fulton

Teresa Kleinschmidt, Armatage

Elizabeth Kruger, Lynnhurst

Bali Kumar, Linden Hills

Alison LaPoint Krahn, Linden Hills

Daniel Muro LaMere, Linden Hills

Liz M, Linden Hills

Elianna Lippold-Johnson, Linden Hills

Paula Luxenberg, Fulton

Eric Magnuson, Armatage

Melissa Manns, West Maka Ska

JoLynn Markison, Kenny

Jennifer Marshall, Kenny

Andy Martens, Lynnhurst

Eric McCabe, Kenny

Garreth McMaster, Lynnhurst

Elizabeth Mulholland, Fulton

Evan Mulholland, Fulton

Stacie Nielsen Bortel, Linden Hills

Kristin Nilsen, Linden Hills

Mike Norton, Lynnhurst

R Norton, Lynnhurst

Jamia Pettinger, Fulton

Elisa Poquette, Lynnhurst

Gina Rautenberg, Linden Hills

Heather Silsbee, West Maka Ska

Colleen Simmons, Kenny

Lindsay Simmons, Armatage

Todd Schuman, Fulton

Martha Spriggs, Kenny

Marie Sustacek, Armatage

Ann Tobin, Lynnhurst

Steve Ulrich, Linden Hills

Michael Walker, Lynnhurst

Margaret Walker, Lynnhurst

Maria White, Linden Hills

Bianca Zick, Lynnhurst


(more signatures forthcoming)


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