Police unions upset Gov. Dayton wants to name training fund after Castile

The local police federations accuse Dayton of turning his back on police again.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Police federations in Minnesota aren't too happy with Gov. Mark Dayton's idea to name a police training fund after Philando Castile.

Castile was killed by police during a traffic stop on July 6, 2016, and on the one-year anniversary of his death Dayton made the recommendation to the Board of Peace Office Standards and Training that a $12 million police training fund be named in honor of him.

“My hope is that the fund will provide training in the best practices to improve law enforcement's relationships with people in all Minnesota communities, and will also create partnerships, in which community and law enforcement leaders are together designing and delivering that training," Dayton said in a statement Thursday.

The $12 million funding was approved by the Legislature this year, and was drafted by law enforcement officials across the state.

But law enforcement groups in Minnesota think naming the fund after Castile is insulting to officers. In a joint statement, five police federations said the governor is using his power to "fuel deeper divisions between people of color and law enforcement" and he's turning "his back on police officers all over again."

The statement also said the governor "reiterated his opinion that the tragedy never would have occurred if Castile and the passengers in his car were white." (During a news conference Thursday, Dayton was asked if he stood by his statement from last July in which he said race was likely a factor in the shooting. The governor answered: "I stand absolutely by that," according to the Pioneer Press.)

"The governor cannot call for strengthened relationships between cops and the community and insult officers at the same time," Jake Ayers, president of Law Enforcement Labor Services, said in the statement. "That’s not leadership."

Instead, Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, suggested the police training fund be named after an officer who was killed in the line of duty.

State Rep. Tony Cornish, who sponsored the House version of the police training funding bill, said naming the legislation after Castile "seems to be kind of taking sides on the issue" even though Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of a manslaughter in the case, the Star Tribune reports. He also noted that the bill was brought to him by the law enforcement community, the Pioneer Press says.

The federations that released the joint statement were: Law Enforcement Labor Services, St. Paul Police Federation, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, Minnesota State Patrol Troopers Association, and Minnesota Conservation Officers Association.

The Board of Peace Office Standards and Training will vote on whether the fund should be named for Castile.

Gov. Dayton responds

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Dayton said people took his comments as being critical of law enforcement, "which is just not true" and he's sorry that that's the message that got communicated.

He added he has the "utmost respect and admiration for law enforcement throughout Minnesota."

Dayton also said it's difficult to toe the line between supporting the communities of color who are calling for reform and supporting law enforcement.

The governor met with law enforcement officials around the state Friday to discuss how to improve police policies, Minnesota News Network says. After the meeting, Andy Skoogman, the executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association issued a statement:

"The loss of life under any circumstance is tragic and the natural inclination is to remember the person who died. But there are 10 thousand men and women in Minnesota who put their lives on the line every day as peace officers and many of them view this as undermining their dedication to community policing and the citizens they serve."

Skoogman also said the funding bill was initially called the 21st Century Policing Platform, adding "we believe that is an appropriate name as the bill addresses many of the recommendations laid out in the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing."

Next Up

ambulance

2 killed in head-on crash involving car, dump truck

The crash happened just before 2 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol.

coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, October 31

Minnesota has surpassed 3,000 new cases on consecutive days.

high school football

Minnesota Football Showcase postponed due to COVID-19

The MFCA All-Star Game will be played in June 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-10-31 at 7.26.05 AM

Here's what President Trump said on his visit to Minnesota

The president targeted Gov. Tim Walz and Keith Ellison at his Minnesota rally.

Screen Shot 2020-10-30 at 6.09.58 PM

Here's what Joe Biden said in Minnesota Friday

Presenting himself as the candidate for a united country, he pledged improvements on affordable healthcare, pandemic relief

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

Related

Police training fund should be named after Philando Castile, governor says

The state committed to spend another $12 million on officer training and standards.

New police relations council will include family of Castile and Clark

The council will present its ideas to the governor and state Legislature.

Philando Castile's family reaches $3M settlement in his death

The settlement avoids a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Dashcam video from the Philando Castile shooting

The video released Tuesday is graphic. It was shown to the jury during the Jeronimo Yanez trial.

Bob Kroll is re-elected as the head of Minneapolis police union

The Police Federation head is a steadfast defender of rank-and-file police, but has courted criticism for his controversial views.

Diamond Reynolds is looking for a fresh start after Philando Castile's death

Diamond Reynolds is trying to get her life back on track after her boyfriend was fatally shot by police on July 6.