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Minneapolis gives caucas fracas investigation to St. Paul police

  • Blog Post by: Matt McKinney
  • February 21, 2014 - 5:19 PM
Incumbent Rep. Phyllis Kahn sat near supporters of her caucus opponent Mohamud Noor during a rescheduled caucus held Wednesday. PHOTO BY RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER

Incumbent Rep. Phyllis Kahn sat near supporters of her caucus opponent Mohamud Noor during a rescheduled caucus held Wednesday. PHOTO BY RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER

It will now become the job of the St. Paul Police Department to investigate the caucus chaos that erupted Feb. 4 at the Brian Coyle Community Center, when a brief melee shut down the event before it was over, the office of Mayor Betsy Hodges announced Friday afternoon.

Hodges requested the transfer after becoming concerned about conflicts of interest, she said in a press release issued Friday. 

"I asked Police Chief Harteau if she could transfer the independent investigation to avoid any perception of a potential conflict of interest," read Hodges' statement. 

Harteau was also quoted in the statement, saying she had the "utmost confidence in my police department and their handling of the case thus far. Due to the unique circumstances presented in this case, our partners in St. Paul will now oversee this independent investigation."

The caucus was disrupted when fighting broke out among supporters of opposing sides of a legislative race between DFLers Mohamud Noor and longtime Rep. Phyllis Kahn. It was over quickly, but Ilhan Omar, the DFL's vice chair for Senate District 60 and an aide to City Council member Andrew Johnson, was struck in the mouth. The fight was reported to be about who could neutrally run the event.

A make-up caucus held Wednesday at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota campus ended with Noor garnering 28 delegates and Kahn 15.

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