The following letter was sent to Mayor Betsy Hodges on the afternoon of Friday, September 26th and has since been updated to include additional signers.

Dear Mayor Hodges,

We write today to request that your office take seriously the concerns that are being raised by community members throughout Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities’ Metro area about the abusive police practices of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) that have been occurring for years. As you know, last week nearly two hundred residents of the Twin Cities gathered at Sabathani Community center with an expectation to engage in a “listening session” with Chief Harteau. As you are aware, Chief Harteau withdrew from the event just hours before it was set to begin and made comments to the media that we find to be offensive regarding expectations of physical violence and unruly confrontations that would pose a threat to public safety. These speculations, on the part of the Chief, reinforced stereotypes of the very communities she was purportedly gathering to "listen" to, and who are in fact, the community members most likely to be targeted by police.

The gathering was peaceful and comments from the community served to highlight the depth of the concerns that community members have about their safety on the streets and the ongoing negative interactions between law enforcement and the community. Young people from the community shared stories of arrests for things like spitting on the sidewalk or “walking while black.” The conduct of some members of MPD is unacceptable in a community that prides itself on having strong, progressive values.

Although several requests have been made by multiple community members to have you and Chief Harteau issue a public apology, this has not yet occurred. We find that disheartening. Many of us voted you into office because we felt that you would not continue with “business as usual,” but would work to unify the community and change the status quo. Your silence on the concerns that have been raised and your failure to engage the community on these issues speaks volumes, and will make it difficult to regain public trust.

We remain concerned about the short and long term impacts of failing to address community concerns regarding police/community relations in a timely manner. Following are some actions that you can take as a way to begin to heal the rift between the Chief, your office, and many concerned community members.

●First, we would ask that a public apology be issued by you and/or the Chief for missing the community listening session and her derogatory and alarmist media remarks that perpetuated negative racial stereotypes.

●Second, we would ask that drastic steps be taken to address the culture within MPD that leads to negative police/community relations.

●Third, we would ask for an audit of MPD by a credible, third-party entity to review departmental structure, the effectiveness of internal affairs and the civilian review process, along with departmental policies.

●Fourth, we would request quarterly progress reports to the community on issues such as increasing diversity within MPD, the rates of low-level arrests, the number and types of police misconduct complaints, and the number of police misconduct lawsuits being settled along with dollar amounts.

●Fifth, we would request an opportunity for community input on policies surrounding the use of body cameras by MPD. Although many of us support the use of body cameras, we are well aware of the fact that many jurisdictions that use body cameras continue to face allegations of police misconduct and brutality due to cameras being turned off during optimal times, storage of data, and interpretation of said data.

In essence, we would like to see MPD be transformed into a department that respects the human dignity of all persons and works to foster positive relationships with the community. We believe that public safety is negatively impacted when residents fear the police department or have lost trust due to a lack of accountability. We urge you to demonstrate bold and courageous leadership on these issues and to set the tone for the type of conduct that is expected in the city of Minneapolis. This can only happen after steps are taken to address the concerns that have been repeatedly raised over the last week and an apology has been issued.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to a timely response.

Sincerely,

Dr. Nancy Heitzeg                  St. Catherine University

Prof. Nekima Levy-Pounds     University of St. Thomas Law School

Dr. Rose Brewer                     University of Minnesota

Scott Gray                              President & CEO, Minneapolis Urban League

Jeffry D. Martin, Esq.      President, St Paul Branch NAACP, First VP, MN/Dakotas Conf., NAACP

Vina Kay                         Interim  Exec. Director./Dir. of Research& Policy, Org. Apprenticeship Project

Nick Muhammad                   Concerned citizen, Community organizer

Rev. Dennis Edwards            Senior Pastor, The Sanctuary Covenant Church, Minneapolis

Dane Smith                            President, Growth & Justice

Toki Wright                            Concerned community member

Jason M. Sole                        Metropolitan State University, School of Law Enforcement & Crim. Justice

Rev. Michael A. Hotz             Associate Pastor of Care and Outreach, The Sanctuary Covenant Church

Rev. Dan Collison                  Senior Pastor, First Covenant Church of Minneapolis

Chris Stewart                         Concerned community member

Dua Saleh                              President, NAACP St. Paul Youth Branch

James Trice                            Founder and CEO of The Public Policy Project

Lissa Jones                             Host, Urban Agenda Public Affairs Show

Elizabeth A. Oppenheimer      Concerned community member

Chaka Mkali                            Director of Organizing and Community Building at Hope Community

Mark Robinson                       Executive Director, E.M.P.O.W.E.R.

Anthony Newby                      Executive Director, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC)

Neely Heubach                      Minneapolis resident and concerned community member

Kenya McKnight                     Minneapolis resident and Business owner

Chris Brooks                           Faculty | Youth & Urban Studies, North Central University

N. Jeanne Burns                    Concerned community member

William C. Jottings                 Concerned community member

Matthew Barthelemy             Concerned community member

Henry Jimenez                      Youth worker, Community organizer

Jamie Utt                                Concerned community member

Charles Samuelson   Executive Director American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN)

Cynthia Assam                       Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Ngeri Azuewah                      Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Rachel Sebasky                     Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Justine Hicks                         Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Jacob Ray                              Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Muna Hassan                        Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas Law School

Marcus Harcus                      Concerned community member                   

Taylor Shevey                        Concerned community member

Stephen Maitreya Wolfe        Concerned community member

Nathaniel Khaliq                    Concerned community member

Shelley Martin                       Concerned Mpls Resident, Community Organizer

Nelima Sitati Munene            Concerned Community member

Ann Mongoven                      Concerned Community member

Thomas Hooks                      Concerned Community member

Sarah Goodspeed                 Concerned Community member

Tami Schimnoski                   Concerned Community member

Ruby Simmons                      Partake or Flake

Kate Willis                             Concerned Community member

Matthew Berg                       Concerned Community member

Mike Griffin                           Concerned Community member

Kristy Pierce                          Concerned Community member

Vaughn Larry                        Concerned Community member

Donna Evans                         Concerned Community activist/organizer

Rev Meg Riley                       Senior Minister, Church of the Larger Fellowship

La Juana Whitmore  Owner, Black Twin Cities, Member, MN Cultural & Ethnic Comm. Leadership Coun.

Shaun Laden                          Concerned Community Member

Amber Gay                            Concerned Community Member

Dwane Martin                         Concerned Community Member

Peter Thomas,                       Community Artist, Concerned Community Member

Dr. Bryan K. Cole                   Parent, Educator, former Minneapolis Resident

Tim Harlan-Marks                  Concerned Community Member

Karen Monahan                    Community organizer

David Miller                           Concerned Community Member

Cathy Jones                           People of Color Union Member, Concerned community Member

Dave Snyder                          Concerned community member

Anne Winkler-Morey               Community faculty Metro state university

Claire Bergren                       Community Organizer- Harrison Neighborhood Association

Jobi Adams                            Concerned community member and Youth

Rebeka Ndosi                        Concerned community member

Chamise Anderson                Certified Student Attorney, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Melvin Whitfield Carter, Jr.      Concerned community member

Azucena Ortega                     Concerned community member

Eliot Howard                            Concerned community member

Zachariah Y. Oluwa Bankole      JD/MBA student and concerned community member

Anika Ward                             Concerned community member

Roya Damsaz                        Concerned community member

Julie Plaut                              Concerned community member

Amy Van Steenwyk               Co-founder of the Mennonite Worker

 Ann Galloway                       Concerned Citizen

Daniel Dean                          Concerned Community Member

Muneer Karcher-Ramos       Concerned Father

Molly Glasgow                      Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition

Oliver Schminkey                  Concerned citizen

Aaron Rennaker                   Concerned Community Member

Katie Huynh                          Concerned citizen

Ashley Horan         Exec. Director, The Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance

Angel Smith-EL                     Concerned citizen of 4 African American young men

Kyla Sisson                            Concerned community member

Miranda Posthumus              Concerned Community Member

William W Smith IV               Youth Advocate

Bridget Siljander                    Concerned community member

Kate Sattler                            Concerned Community Member

Ann Haines                            Concerned Community Member

Evelyn M. Blum                     Concrned Community Member and Voter

David Boehnke                      Concerned Community Member

Mike Wedl                             Concerned Minneapolis Resident and Community Leader

Lauren Huiting                       Concerned Community Member

David Miller                           Concerned Community Member

Nick Campbell                       North Minneapolis Resident

Stephanie DeFrance             Public School Teacher

Marjaan Sirdar                       Concerned community member

Niko Georgiades                   Youth Worker, Concerned Community Member

Chrissie Mahaffy                   Concerned community Member

Brian Mahaffy                        Concerned community Member

Dick Donovan                        Concerned community Member

Tessa Wetjen                        Concerned community member

Vanessa Messersmith          Concerned community member

Leah C Palmer                      Former MPD employee

Jennifer Lock                         Concerned Community Member

Liane Gale                             Co-Chair, Green Party of Minnesota

Michael kraft                          Concerned community member

Josh Hardy                             Concerned Community Member

Steve Loop                             Concerned Community Member

Danyale Green                       Concerned Community Member/Organizer

Sonia Nunez-Gibbs                 Educator

Tony Nunez                            Concerned community member

Jazmin Danielson                   Community Leader

Avra Anagnostis                      Wake Up 612

Cari Tan Educator                   Concerned Community Member

Mrs. Maryann Robinson          Concerned Child Education Advocate

Brian K. Smith                         Institute on Culture and Policy

Mary Webb-Hampton              Concerned community member, Wake up 612

Stephanie Gasca                     Concerned Community Member

Roya Damsaz                          Concerned community member

Michael W. Jonak                     Attorney and Concerned Citizen

Jon P. Frasz                            TAMN

Roya Damsaz                          Concerned Community Member

Kissy Coakley                          Victims Advocate & Justice 4 All Leader

Dan Kauppi                              Lawyer, Minneapolis resident

Robert Smith III                        Doctoral Student, University of Minnesota

Carrie Anne Johnson               Parent & Life-long South Minneapolis Resident

Amber Jones                            U of M Student, Concerned Community Member

Eric Highers                              Concerned Community Member

Lars Mackenzie                         Graduate Student, University of Minnesota

Maria Laden                             Concerned Community Member

James Christenson                  Concerned Community Member

Vanessa Messersmith              Concerned community member

Joseph Maher                           ONE LOVE 

Mike Griffin                               Concerned Community Member

Christena Cleveland         Ph.D., Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies, Bethel University

C. John Hildebrand                  Concerned Community Member

Mark Van Steenwyk                 Pastor, the Mennonite Worker

Brita Higgins                             Concerned Community Member

Brandi Olson                             Jordan neighborhood resident and concerned community member

Pamela Y. Cook, Esq        Chaplain Intern, Redeemer Lutheran Church & Redeemer Center for Life

Chelsea Forbrook                       MPS teacher

Holly Slattery                              Concerned Community Member

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel          Concerned Community Member

Steve Clemens                           Minneapolis resident

Charity Kroeker                          Concerned Community Member

Jack O'Leary                              Concerned Community Member

Raymond Calubayan                 Concerned Community Member

Bethany Theobald                     Concerned Community Member

Terry W. Hokenson                    Board Member, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light

Nancy Nair                                  Concerned Community Member

Russ Barclay                              Concerned Community Member

Jamie Buss                                 Concerned Community Member

Dawn Pivec                                 Concerned Community Member

Lora Pedersen                            Concerned Community member

Corliss Zawistowski                    Concerned Community member

Marcia Foutch                             Concerned Community Member

Linda L Richards                   Brain Injury Specialist in rehab, for persons with traumatic brain injury

Ryan Peterson                           Concerned Community Member

G Zachariah White, PsyD           Licensed Psychologist

Orin Rubin                                  Concerned community member

Matthew Masurka                      Musician, Concerned Community Member

Jennifer Arnold                          Community organizer

Nathan Michielson                     University of Minnesota Student

Morgan Bird                               Concerned Community Member

Peter William Atkins                  Concerned Community Member

Alexis Boxer                              Conservation Organizer, Sierra Club

Nick Espinosa                            Occupy Homes MN, United Neighborhood Alliance

Bobbi Dahlstrom                        Whittier resident

Rike Miggs                                 Concerned Community Member

Cesar Atienzo                            Concerned Community Member

Alexandra Vagac                       Chair of the Board of Directors, MPIRG

Nicholas Cotta                           Student at University of Minnesota

Grayson Carr                             Community member

Dr. Sarah Humpage Liuzzi        Economist, Concerned Community Member

Alyssa Ramsden                       MPIRG Board Director

Aaron Furuseth                         Concerned Community Member

Austin Zyvoloski                         Concerned Community Member

Stacia Martin                             Concerned Community Member

Anton Schieffer                         Concerned Community Member

Emily Lund                                 Concerned community member

Adam Loomis                             Minneapolis resident, artist and activist

Guy Wagner                              Concerned Community Member

Zoe Prinds-Flash                        Photographer, Concerned Community Member

Abbi Dion                                 University of Minnesota Graduate Student and Concerned Citizen

Eden Yosief                                Concerned Community Member

Sam Gould                                  Concerned Community Member

Emerson Gutierrez                       Concerned Community Member

Phill Kelly                                      Interim Executive Director, West Bank Community Coalition

Ryan Johnson                               Concerned Community Member

Nien Liu                                         Concerned Community Member

Josh J. Kaplan                              Concerned Community Member

Greg Neis                                     Concerned Community Member

Will Dockendorf                            Teacher

Mike Hoyt                                       Concerned community member

Ruby Levine                                  Concerned Community Member

Peter Pawlowski                           Concerned Community Member, PACIM Board Member

Noah Shavit-Lonstein                    University of Minnesota Student

Anya Cleaver                                 Concerned Community Member

Louis Mielke                                   Student, University of Minnesota-TC

Pahoua Yang Hoffman                   Concerned Community Member

Margaret Levin                               State Director, Sierra Club North Star Chapter

Matthew Saint-Germain      Student, University of Minnesota and Business Owner, Freedom From

Brian Matthew Hart                         Concerned Community Member

Jonathan K. Davis                            Concerned Community Member

Angie Hanson-Huff                          Concerned Community Member

Adam Levy                                     Concerned community member

Janey Winterbauer                        Musician, citizen of Minneapolis

Patricia Enger                                Actor

Rosalie Pierce                                Concerned community member

Kathy DeKrey                                 Concerned Community Member

Sarah Peters                                  Artist and arts administrator with Northern Lights.mn

Lars Hayne                                     Concerned community member

Robyn Hendrix                                Concerned community member

Dominique B                                    Energy Efficiency

Wil Sampson-Bernstrom                  Concerned Community Member

Ben Severns                                    Community Educator

Juleana Enright                                Writer, Concerned Community Member

Dean Otto                                       Concerned Community Member

Nicholas Clark                                Concerned community member

Lacey Prpic Hedtke                        Artist, concerned community member

Katie Hargrave                               Concerned Community Member

Shanai Matteson                            Collaborative Director, Works Progress Studio

Lara Avery                                       Editor, Revolver

Erik Brandt                                      Professor, Minneapolis College of Art + Design

Mark Borrello                                   Concerned Community Member

Amanda Luker                                   Boneshaker Books

Arwyn Birch                                        Business owner

Randall K. Cohn       Program Supervisor., Avenues for Homeless Youth; Law Student, William Mitchell

Josie Shardlow                                   Concerned Mpls resident

Elisabeth Workman                            Poet, writer

Danielle Thompson                            Concerned Community Member

Lance W Conrad                                Local business owner, music community organizer

Christopher Caesar                           Concerned Community Member

Elizabeth Stewart                               Concerned Community Member

Regan Smith                                       Concerned Community Member

Rachel Bean                                       Concerned Community Member

Donna Buer                                        Concerned Community Member

Bradley Coleman Johnson                 Concerned community member

Kyrra Rankine                                    Concerned Community Member

Katherine Kazama                              Concerned community member

Jonathan Stensland,                           Concerned Neighbor

Cassie Warholm-Wohlenhaus            Librarian, Hennepin County Library-Franklin

Kevin Van Meter                                  PhD Student, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Melissa Hysing                                    Concerned Community Member

Mamie Xiong                                       Concerned community member

Evan S. Giffin                                       Concerned community member

Sharon Goens-Bradley     Healing Justice Program Director, American Friends Service Committee

Christian Erickson                                Minneapolis Resident and Business Owner

Rowena Ng                                          University of Minnesota Graduate Student

Andrew Molle                                       Concerned Community Member

Travis Workman                                    Assistant Professor/University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Ashley Fairbanks                                 Artist/Organizer, Concerned Community Member

Paul Corts                                           Teacher of Color

Danielle Kasprzak                               Concerned Community Member

Colin Kloecker                  Co-Director, Works Progress Studio, Concerned Community Member

Yusuf Ahmad                                        Concerned Community Member

Bryan Pyle                                            Concerned Community Member

Susan Kikuchi                                       Labor organizer

Nancy Helfrich                                      Concerned Community Member

Paul Achmelzer                                     Concerned community member

Jessica Mueller                             Director of Development and Marketing,  Urban Homeworks

David Petersen                                     Owner, David Petersen Gallery

Julie Graves                                          Youth worker

Amy Mingo                                            Concerned Community Member

Peter Simonson                         Executive Sous Chef Peoples Organic, Minneapolis homeowner

Pamela Isham                                       Concerned community member

Kristen Murray                                        Minneapolis resident

Samuel Bjorgum                                    Concerned community member

Taryn Tessneer                                      Concerned Community Member

Marque Jensen                                       Writer, Teacher, and VP of Minne-Mex Construction

Arjun Kataria                                           Graduate Student, Carlson School of Management

Cheryl Wilgren                                         Concerned community member

Jesse Petersen                                        Concerned community member

Melody L Hoffmann                                  Professor, Concerned Community Member

Tom Grant                                                Civilian  

Rachel Young                                          Concerned Community Member

Lori Stee                                                   Concerned Community Member

Paul Henry                                                Concerned community member

Jennifer Barclay                        Mother, Minneapolis resident, Concerned community member

Maura Brown                                         Minneapolis resident

Jenn Schreiter                                        President, the Students' Cooperative

Kirsten R Hayman                                  Resident, Ready for Better

caty royce                                              Deeply Concerned community member

Eric Asboe                                              Concerned Community Member

Karlyn Avery-Derksen         Behavioral Health Nurse Clinician, Concerned Community Member

Dave Jeffries                                         Anti-Racist Action

Victor Martinez                                        New Generation Church

Emerson Beishline                                  Attorney and Concerned Community Member

Francisco Segovia                                 Center Director at Pillsbury-Waite House

Janet Lobberecht                                  Concerned community member

Erik Ostrom                                           Concerned community member

Gabriel Bozian                  Certified Student Attorney, William Mitchell College of Law

Sara Nelson                                           University of Minnesota

Dr. Valentine Cadieux                    University of Minnesota and Concerned Community Member

Jade Lichtsinn                                    LICSW, Resource Chemical and Mental Health

Sarah Valentine                                  Concerned Community Member

Eleanor Stoltz                                        Teacher, Minneapolis Public Schools

Molly Phillips                                         Concerned Community Member

Gudrun Lock                                         Concerned community member

Bruce Braun                                         Concerned Community Member

Brandon Kareef                                   Church Onward, Concerned Community Member

A. Weiers                                            Concerned community member

Mikel Herb                                           Concerned community member

Dr. Kate Derickson                               University of Minnesota

Katrina Ann Haugen                             Concerned Community Member

Stephen Kung                                      President, Urban Oasis LLC

Dylan Bradford-Kesti                        Program Organizer, Land Stewardship Project

Pia Payne Shannon                            Educator

Spencer Cox                                      Concerned Community member

Lalit Batra                                            University of Minnesota

Melinda Kernik                                     Concerned Community Member

Ananya Chatterjea                               University of Minnesota

Paul Schulz                                         Concerned Community Member

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The Community is Speaking, but Chief Harteau is Not Listening

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Minneapolis Public Schools: Our Children Deserve More than the Status Quo