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Minneapolis Parks Board ends space-sharing agreement with State Patrol

The move was taken in a close 5-4 vote.
Minneapolis Parks Board

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has voted to remove the Minnesota State Patrol from its headquarters, where it currently shares space.

The Parks Board HQ at 2117 West River Road North is used by state troopers primarily for breaks, to eat their lunch, and to use the restroom.

But that space-sharing arrangement will come to an end after the Parks Board voted 5-4 in favor of an emergency resolution that will no longer allow the State Patrol to use the building.

According to the Star Tribune, the move was led by Parks Board member Londel French, who was hugely critical of the State Patrol's in the at-times brutal response to the protests in Brooklyn Center that followed the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

There was significant criticism of the police response that saw tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs used on protesters and journalists, with residents of local apartment buildings also impacted.

Lt. Gordon Shank, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol, told the Strib that the State Patrol's free lease with the Park Board "amounts to a docking station in a cubicle."

"We will abide by the decision of the Park Board in terms of the lease, but will continue the collaborative work that must continue with law enforcement agencies to keep Minnesotans safe," Shank said in a statement to Bring Me The News.

"The Minnesota State Patrol values our relationships with community in the city of Minneapolis - whether participating in MPRB youth safety camps, assisting with road closures for special events, or supporting community events like Juneteenth. 

"The State Patrol will continue our mission to protect and serve all people on Minnesota's roadways even if the agency is no longer welcome to office from Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board headquarters."

The decision has sparked condemnation from the Minnesota Republican Party, with Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), who has called on Gov. Tim Walz and Democrats to pressure the Parks Board to reverse its decision, and urged Mayor Jacob Frey to veto it.

"These are our neighbors, and the Minneapolis Park Board won't even let them use their space to rest or have a meal — they should immediately reverse this foolish and offensive decision," he said.

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