Falcon Heights takes police discussion behind closed doors amid protests


The mayor and city council in the Twin Cities suburb where Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer are talking about bringing change to police policies in Falcon Heights.

But on Wednesday evening they apparently had trouble hearing their own conversation over the shouts of protesters at their meeting.

According to media reports, the council and mayor eventually moved their workshop on a proposed task force to a private area.



What's being proposed?

Wednesday's meeting was held to discuss a proposal by Mayor Peter Lindstrom, who has suggested Falcon Heights put together an Inclusion and Policing Task Force to make recommendations on policing in the city.

According to a description of the plan included in Wednesday night's agenda, the task force would consist of 12 to 15 people who either live in Falcon Heights, work there, or own a business there.

Members chosen by the city council would report back by next May with recommendations on a handful of issues:

  • Best practices for police policies, especially on the use of force and building trust
  • Police training, especially on implicit bias and de-escalation
  • Community-based policing and strengthening links with residents
  • Diversity and inclusion on the police force
  • Data collection

Under the mayor's proposal, task force members would also take part in a citizen's academy to help them understand the work of police officers.

After their report was filed, the police chief would have 30 days to respond with explanations of how each recommendation would be integrated into policy or why it would not be.

But Falcon Heights doesn't have a police department

The officer who shot Castile during a July traffic stop, touching off weeks of protests, serves with the St. Anthony police department. St. Anthony provides police service on a contract basis to two neighboring cities, Falcon Heights and Lauderdale.

Since Castile's death, protesters have been demanding that Falcon Heights sever its police contract with St. Anthony. According to a Pioneer Press reporter, those demands were renewed Wednesday evening.


KARE 11 reported this summer that Falcon Heights spends about $600,000 per year on its police contract with St. Anthony, which runs through 2019.


The Star Tribune reports that after the mayor and city council left the room Wednesday evening, a 15 to 20 minute conversation followed between a group of mostly older white residents of Falcon Heights and a group of protesters, most of whom were black. One woman told the newspaper it was the best listening session she'd ever attended.

Next Up

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

It's part of a consent decree announced by the Department f Justice Monday.

The Liffey Pub Facebook

St. Paul's Irish pub The Liffey reveals it won't reopen

The beloved pub has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Proctor football

Proctor football investigation: Case goes to county attorney

The office will review the evidence and consider possible criminal charges.

kirsten mitchell screegrab

'I’m heading home!': CA reporter announces return to WCCO

Kirsten Mitchell interned at WCCO years ago. Now, she's coming back as a reporter.


As part of price gouging settlement, farm to donate 1M eggs to food nonprofits

The egg producer will donate more than 1 million eggs to nonprofits fighting hunger.

plane, Piper PA-32

Sheriff: Witnesses saw plane 'performing aerial maneuvers' before fatal crash

The single-engine aircraft went down in northern Wisconsin, killing a brother and sister.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 8.51.02 AM

Community rallies around Minnetonka HS dancer battling brain tumor

A fundraiser raised more than $44,000 of its $60,000 goal in the first two days.

twin city gardens

In rare move, MDH takes control of Minneapolis nursing home

The temporary receivership is to ensure resident safety.

Sen Mark Koran crop

Lawmaker deletes post encouraging donations to family charged in Capitol riot

Sen. Mark Koran, in his Facebook post, described them as "a good family!"


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 12.22.14 PM

Falcon Heights temporarily bans front yard vegetable gardens

It comes after a resident launched an effort to open a community garden.

5 injured in crash involving stolen vehicle in Falcon Heights

The impact of the crash launched a fire hydrant approximately 80 feet.