Minneapolis Police Issue: Did Mayor Flash Gang Sign On Television?


Fallout from a controversial television news story suggesting that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges posed for a photo flashing a gang symbol is the freshest sign of a deep conflict between the new mayor and the union that represents the city's rank-and-file police officers, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “In this recent blowup, I think the union is definitely making it clear that they're not happy with some of the things that the mayor has said about the police department,” former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said, adding that the union “has not always been viewed as having the best interests of the city in mind.”

The flare-up comes less than a year into Hodges' first mayoral term, and after she sent an open letter to residents in October saying that the police department had some officers who “abuse the trust” of the public, which could lead to a “downward spiral.” In an on-air interview, police union leader John Delmon­ico questioned whether Hodges supports gangs or the police after a photo surfaced of her and a Neighborhoods Organizing for Change canvasser pointing at each other with their thumbs extended upward. The KSTP-TV report quoted other unnamed law-enforcement sources who expressed concern that the mayor was flashing a gang sign. The story became an instant social-media sensation, with thousands of critics saying the report had racist overtones. It spawned dozens of memes using the hashtag “#pointergate.” A spokesman for Hodges said she and the man in the photo were merely pointing at each other during the get-out-the-vote effort. The canvasser, Navell Gordon, who said he is trying to turn his life around after drug and firearm charges, said it was an honor to be in a photo with the mayor

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