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Former Mpls police chief speaks out on racism in department

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After two race-related incidents involving off-duty Minneapolis police officers have been reported, former Police Chief Tim Dolan is addressing the issue of racism within the department.

"As I often told officers in the past, there will be days when you will be less proud of putting on the uniform of the Minneapolis Police Department," Dolan wrote in a letter to the Star Tribune. "The recent incidents reported should embarrass and concern anyone who has worn a uniform and their families."

Last week, current Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau apologized for the behavior of two off-duty officers who were caught on dash cam video using racial slurs during an altercation outside a Green Bay, Wis. bar.

Just three days after the Green Bay video surfaced, police reports were obtained by the Star Tribune from a separate fight outside a bar in Apple Valley involving three off-duty officers where one officer is accused of knocking a man to the ground and using a racial slur.

Two of the officers in that incident were convicted in June for disorderly conduct.

"It makes the department look bad. It makes the profession look bad," Dolan said in an interview with FOX 9.

When asked whether there is a problem with racism within the department, Dolan said, "Racism is everywhere."

The department has said both incidents are the focus of internal affairs investigations that are still ongoing. The two officers involved in the Green Bay incident were placed on leave.

Harteau said Friday she intends to begin a new “dialogue” with faith and cultural leaders in the city to rebuild public trust. FOX 9 said the Minneapolis Police Federation, the officer union, wants to be included in the discussions.

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