Edina arrest: Officer won't be suspended, but city asks state to investigate

The citation against the man has also been dropped.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The city of Edina is asking state agents to investigate last week's arrest of a black man who was walking down the street.

City officials also said Monday the officer who handled the case of Larnie Thomas followed Edina police policy – so he will not be suspended, and there will be no apology.

The city's announcement is in response to requests from the Minneapolis NAACP. They said officials will take a closer look at those police protocols to see if similar situations can be handled more sensitively in the future.

Edina invited the community and the NAACP to offer suggestions and take part in discussions about what can be learned from the case.

What happened?

Larnie Thomas was walking down Xerxes Avenue in Edina around noon on Oct. 12. Police said an officer stopped him because he was walking in a lane of traffic and was a safety hazard.

Part of the incident was captured on video, and it shows the officer grabbing and holding onto Thomas' arm, while Thomas is yelling for the officer to get his hands off him. Thomas also asks why he is being detained.

The video prompted outrage from people across the country, who claimed Thomas would not have been stopped if he was white. The Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP called the incident "dehumanizing and degrading," noting it "merely reinforces the urgent need for police reform" in Minnesota and across the country.

The NAACP listed six requests:

  • An independent investigation
  • Suspension of the arresting officer – Lt. Tim Olson – without pay
  • That Edina police collect data on race during traffic stops and use it to reform procedures
  • That Edina's mayor and police chief apologize to Thomas and the public
  • Bias training for all Edina police officers
  • That Edina police implement best practices from the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Edina's response

Monday afternoon's statement came from three Edina officials – Mayor Jim Hovland, City Manager Scott Neal, and Police Chief Dave Nelson.

Here's how they responded to each of the NAACP's requests:

  • They're asking the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for an independent investigation of the incident
  • Lt. Olson will not be suspended because he followed procedures, Edina says
  • The city would like to sit down with the NAACP to talk more about collecting data on race and how to use it
  • Edina is making no apologies but is reviewing police protocols and invites the public to join a discussion about what lessons can be learned
  • Police will get more training on explicit and implicit bias, with specific suggestions from the NAACP welcome
  • Edina will work with the community on reviewing the federal report on policing and the city's own procudures

In a statement released Sunday evening, Mayor Hovland said Thomas was not taken to jail – he was driven to a local mall and released, per his request, Hovland says. Thomas was issued a citation, but it has since been dropped, Hovland added.

Next Up

radio station, microphone

Christian music broadcaster revealed as buyers of Go Radio

Educational Media Foundation. operates the K-Love brand, which has a presence already in the Twin Cities.

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.

Giordano's

Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.

scratch lottery ticket

State lottery: Don't give scratch-offs as gifts to minors

The Minnesota Lottery participates in an annual responsible gambling campaign focusing on underage lottery play during the holidays.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota adds 2 more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

There will be 17 conditions that qualify people to obtain medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Related

Black pedestrian arrested by Edina officer is suing him, the city

Larnie Thomas says he was "maliciously discriminated" against.

Activists block streets in Edina, demand officers be disciplined

Activists took to the streets Saturday afternoon to protest police brutality.

NAACP calls for change after video of 'dehumanizing' arrest of a black man

The man was walking in the street before being arrested by an Edina police officer.

Officer who kicked man during arrest should get his job back, arbitrator rules

The city settled with the man who was kicked for $2 million.

Police probably won't be allowed on St. Paul's police review board anymore

The group that handles complaints against police officers would no longer have police officers on it.

Officer Yanez will go to trial in Philando Castile case

Yanez's attorneys filed a motion to try to get the case dismissed.

Jamar Clark shooting: No discipline for the officers involved

The police chief also acknowledged the "devastating loss that left the Clark family without a son and brother."