President Obama visited Minneapolis in 2013 to promote his gun control legislation. The rally took place at the Minneapolis Police Department. I obtained media credentials to cover the event being interested in what he had to say on the issue.
Officers filed in behind him, wearing their uniforms. Apparently for President Obama, the City of Minneapolis thought it was appropriate to bring in uniformed officers. There was much pomp and circumstance put on by the city for an issue the city appeared to be in support of.
Flash forward to Pres. Trump’s visit to Minneapolis last week at the Target Center. A very different reception took place.
President Trump has made it known he supports police. The police union president appeared at the rally in support of the Trump administration’s stance on law enforcement. However, no uniforms were allowed for city officers who desired to stand behind the president. A new policy made by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey barring off-duty police officers from wearing their uniforms to political events.
Putting all politics aside, the honor a president is given should not be based on political leanings. Instead of proudly donning their uniforms behind our president, officers were forced to wear red shirts with the words “Cops for Trump.”
Frey is now being hailed by some media for proposing an additional 14 officers in his budget when the Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called for 400 additional officers to handle the amount of 911 calls coming in through dispatch.
The city is suffering. Lives are being lost. And having three children in the Twin Cities area, one being just blocks from the U of M, I would like to see law enforcement presence there stepped up. And not have its numbers based on political ideology.
I can be almost certain that those officers standing behind Pres. Obama weren’t in support of Obama’s proposed gun legislation. The police union now, however, has come out in support of President Trump.
The safety of Minneapolis citizens and those who visit the city seems to be thrown out based on the political leanings of Mayor Frey.
The mayor’s political policies look to a softer, gentler policing style, stating, “There is no time to waste on false choice and binary options in addressing the causes of crime and violence in our city.” A deeper look at his budget shows Frey’s top priorities as low income or subsidized housing, economic inclusion, creating “cultural districts,” bail reform, and a category called “beyond policing,” all coming before actual policing.
The population of Minneapolis has grown from 382,000 people in 2010 to approximately 430,000 today, and the numbers of officers has remained stagnant. Frey acknowledges this but still only proposed 14 additional officers.
A copy of Mayor Frey’s budget proposal can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y3hnbvfy.
Traci LeBrun is the editor of the Messenger.