Mpls. police union won't fight officers' firing


WCCO reports the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis voted Wednesday night not to file a grievance over the termination of two officers fired for using racial slurs.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau fired SWAT officers Brian Thole and Shawn Powell last week. The two men, who are both white, were off duty in Wisconsin last summer when they got in a fight with a group of black men outside a bar. Green Bay police responded, and recorded video of the two Minneapolis officers using racial slurs and disparaging the sexual orientation of Chief Harteau, who is a lesbian.

Because the two are military veterans, they have two months to challenge the firing under the Veterans Preference Act. They remain on paid leave until then.

When the incident was made public, Harteau called it "appalling." She said it "goes against" what the department stands for. Thole and Powell were placed on paid leave while the department investigated. Green Bay police declined to press criminal charges, according to the Star Tribune.

KSTP obtained internal emails between the Minneapolis and Green Bay police departs that explain why officers in Green Bay reported their counterparts. "We would want to know," said an email from Lt. Kevin Warych, commander of the Green Bay police internal affairs unit. "This is a sad situation for everyone involved. But, as we talked, we would want to know how our officers acted if they were in a different city."

In addition to using the N-word during the fight and an expletive to describe Chief Harteau's sexual orientation, Thole and Powell also disparaged the Green Bay officers who responded.

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