Medals for errant raid send wrong message, Rybak says

  • Updated: July 31, 2008 - 11:00 PM

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said Thursday that giving medals for valor to eight police officers who participated in a botched raid last year sends the wrong message to the community.

Rybak said an investigation has determined that the officers who entered the wrong house in search of a gang member were not at fault, and indeed acted with bravery. But he said "we need to get to the bottom of" why they were sent to the house. Authorities are investigating what they said was bad information from a usually reliable informant.

The officers found homeowner Vang Khang and family members in the home. Khang thought he was being robbed and shot through his bedroom door at the officers until he understood who they were.

Police have acknowledged that the raid was a mistake and apologized to the family. But Rybak said the awards send the wrong message when police are trying to strengthen community connections.

He said he has directed Chief Tim Dolan to review the department's awards process and to report back in a month about how to prevent such controversial medal awards.

"I don't want this to happen again," he said.

STEVE BRANDT

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