Crap like this is how nice boys become criminals

Emailed to every department in the City of Minneapolis government that seemed remotely appropriate:

To the parties concerned:

At 6:30 pm on Saturday 8/3/2013 I witnessed police officers in squad car #250 stop and search two approximately

English: City hall of Minneapolis, Minnesota (...
English: City hall of Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). Français : Mairie de Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14 year old African American boys bicycling through the alley by Lowry Ave NE behind the Dairy Queen. Both wore backpacks. Not only did these officers go through their bags, it looked as though they were about to be given a cavity search. The boys, after ten minutes, were let go and given their things back. It appeared as though the male officer was going to strike the boy he searched until he realized there were witnesses.

The officers concerned were a blonde, female officer in her 20s and a taller, white officer in his early 30s.

It appeared to those of us watching that there was NO PROBABLE CAUSE. The boys had been following traffic law, were quietly minding their own business and it is still not illegal to wear backpacks while biking in Minnesota.

I strongly encourage you to advise these officers that having black or brown skin has not qualified as probable cause since 1863. Perhaps an update to the police procedural manual is in order. I want to keep Minneapolis a safe place to thrive – and police that are trustworthy are a big part of that.

There is a complaint that will be filed, but given that police oversight in Minneapolis remains ineffective (perhaps because officers do not live in the city) it seemed preferable to contact the departments that oversee the police first.

with great concern,

Diana Rajchel

Comments

  1. AshleySears

    This type of stuff makes me sad. You would hope that in this day in age this wouldn’t be the same problems over and over again.

  2. dianarajchel

    AshleySears I’m pretty sad – and disgusted – having watched. I love this city but one of its great problems is its slightly unhinged and abusive police officers. There have been a ridiculous number of police brutality complaints as long as I’ve lived here – a disproportionate amount given the total population of Minneapolis. (Don’t even get me started in the racism inherent in the public schools, both teachers and administration.Just be glad you homeschool so the racism doesn’t infect your children. There’s already a lot of two-way racism and boy howdy do our boys and gals in blue feed that negativity.) Part of the problem, according to MSP lifers, is at some point we stopped requiring the officers to live IN the city. That means that they place a higher value on their arrest records and feeding a power high than they do on creating a livable and safe city.  The second is a rumor I’ve *never confirmed* – that the actually corrupt ones from Chicago get kicked up here along with the hardcore criminals that settle in North Minneapolis. *If* that’s true,  we have Chicagoan corruption and aggression in the heart of white northern passivity – a perfect recipe for injustice.

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