Using a little-known power to undo Minneapolis Park Board resolutions, Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday vetoed the board's decision to banish the State Patrol from its headquarters.
Frey's action came less than 48 hours after the Park Board voted to terminate a license agreement with the State Patrol giving troopers access to a cubicle at park headquarters to rest and recharge their equipment.
"This resolution is not about good policymaking or helping the people of Minneapolis. Rather, it is about political grandstanding that values optics over both the residents we serve and our interjurisdictional partnerships," Frey wrote in a letter admonishing the five park commissioners who voted for ejecting the State Patrol.
"Now is simply not the time for posturing. It is the time for serious, responsible government."
The mayor echoed the concerns of Park Commissioner LaTrisha Vetaw, who called the resolution "political grandstanding" before voting against it along with Commissioners Steffanie Musich, Meg Forney and Kale Severson.
Commissioner Londel French proposed the resolution, citing the State Patrol's role in suppressing unrest and protests after a Brooklyn Center police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright.
"Over the last week or so we've been having a lot of unrest in our city," French said during Wednesday's Park Board meeting. "A lot of the folks that have been at the heart of putting that unrest down or stifling the protesters have been, in Minneapolis, the Minnesota State Patrol."
Board President Jono Cowgill scheduled the resolution for a vote by the full board without going through committee. Commissioners Brad Bourn, AK Hassan and Chris Meyer joined them in voting for it.
"As a Black man, when I interact with police, I'm at risk," French said in an interview Friday. "This is what I could have done to mitigate some of the police tactics. It's not a lot. … We have to re-evaluate how we police in our city, in our country. Status quo can't remain the same, and that's what folks want me to do. Just leave it alone and not do anything."
He said he would like to see more police reforms pass before re-evaluating the Park Board's relationship with the State Patrol.
The Park Board needs a two-thirds vote to override the mayor's veto.
In 2019, Frey vetoed a Park Board resolution to raise the property tax levy beyond the increase that he supported.
Susan Du • 612-673-4028