Outrage Over Proposed Off-Leash Dog Park In MLK Park

By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Park Board listened to a long line of angry pleas Wednesday night at a public hearing over a plan to put an dog park inside Minneapolis’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

The park, located on Nicollet Avenue South and 42nd Street, is being considered by the Board as a possible site for an off-leash park. It’s in response to residents identifying a need for a dog park in the 6th park district.

“We could really use this dog park to lift up the whole neighborhood, which is the best honoring we can do of Dr. King,” said Rebecca Horton, who is part of the dog park task force.

However, many neighbors who lived through the civil rights era say it tarnishes King’s name. They point out that back then dogs were used to attack the black community.

“You turned the most savage vicious dogs you could on men, women and children, tearing on parts of our flesh. And those of us that survived, you sent us to jail,” said Spike Moss, who opposes the proposed dog park.

“I’m a dog lover. I got a dog. This is shameful. You should be ashamed of yourselves,” said Gregorry McMoore to the board, who also opposes the dog park.

The emotional testimony moved Park Board Commissioner Jon Olson to take the plan off the table.

“This is extremely offensive. Shouldn’t be a discussion. Not be taking place,” said Olson. “It blows me away we are even continuing this discussion, we should take action to exclude Martin Luther King park from consideration.”

But when the rest of the board didn’t agree in a 5 to vote, some protestors stood and sang the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

After divisive testimony, the two groups still have much to overcome — with conflicting visions of peace in their park.

The Minneapolis Park Board has designated $32,500 for a dog park and, in addition, added another $32,500 to make improvements to the legacy of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

The Board will now create a citizen advisory group that represents both sides of the argument. Board President John Erwin said he hopes the board makes a decision sometime in February.

  • Canine

    Don’t A. A. s have dogs? Do they (the dogs) defecate?

  • j

    Get over it.

    • tim

      what next? selling German beer in St Louis Park??!! Oh the humanity

      I agree, get over it.

  • Julie

    Pull the race card to get what they want.
    When one’s head is always in the past, always looking at the past, you tend to stumble through the present and miss out on the future.

    I understand that dogs were used as a way to terrorize, but those dogs are long dead. The owners of said dogs are prolly dead too and if not prolly dang close to dying.

    Equality has come a long way, and it would get farther if people would just stop pulling the race card and crying discrimination because someone wants to put a dog park in MLK Park.

    You guys who play the race and discrimination tactic

    • Todd

      I am a caucasion guy who adopted two bi-racial children and I can say very clearly that racism is still very much alive. When you use ‘you people’ it is as though you are elevating the white race to a special class which you ara not. All of us must become color blind in order for racism to end. I fear for my children because of stupid white people I read above.

      • Foge

        It is you people that are the problem by making race the issue. I am a black man and I don’t experience any racism. Maybe it is the way I conduct myself. I am all for a dog park. It makes the city more livable and attracts residents from a broader spectrum of people.

      • D

        “stupid white people” doesn’t sound like YOU are color blind as promoting!!

      • Victim Du Jour

        The United States is the most civilized country in the world. Blacks experience mass murder, violence, slavery and human rights violations in Africa.

        Nerdy white liberals incite racial tension for political gain, that’s all.

        Like the USA is the worst place on earth to be black. That is pure ignorance.

    • dphilips

      People like you ruin the world

    • young at heart and disliking many

      me says to Julie >> you are discriminating against dogs by owning and keeping inside the city.
      Someday when the Apes rule the world they’ll have you enslaved and tied to a post or kept in a caged yard. Just wait as it is coming-wait. The Apes already rule the city and dog parks. I smell both every time I walk by one. So much for clean healthy air. Maybe a $500 a year surcharge should be paid by dog owners to clean up and pay for things. How’s ya like that Julie?

      • Julie

        um… I dont have a dog.

        I don’t have a problem with the dog park either
        and I think you guys really mis-understood what I said,
        and put it into a skewed context. I didn’t generalize in the end of my big post.

        I said:
        “You guys who play the race and discrimination tactic

        Meaning I was talking TO the ones that trumped the race card yesterday when they didn’t get what they wanted. That is sad when they lose an argument, and have to end the conversations with something of a racial poor me song minus the dance.

        When I said “I SAY YOU PEOPLE …” I was talking to the people I was directing my comment to in the beginning of that sentence. Not deadpanning it to the general population.

        [sarcasm] Oh no, there is going to be a dog park in MLK, im gonna lament and sing songs that harken back to the Oppressive Days because I think dogs are evil because of all the things their DUMB OWNERS did to people. A dog is only as good as it’s owner. [/sarcasm]

  • Julie

    Oh, they say that the Park Board is all white, why don’t some People of Color get off their hiney’s and get themselves elected and make change the right way instead of just making a public spectacle that makes people just shake their heads in sadness….

    • Brittany

      Did you just say “people of color” and “you people”. That was just uncalled for. I am a African American and i say thats extremely offensive. I love dogs, i have one myself and work for a dog rescue and i still say NO.There has to be another area that the dogs are able to go and have fun. To me thats just saying that MLK jr. did not make a difference in the world and everything he did was for nothing.

      • David the honkey


      • Foge

        Brittany. My guess is that you are white. I’M BLACK. SHUT UP!!! I don’t need you or anyone else to defend me or any other black person in America. Go find another cause and grow some skin. Anyone who gets offend by simple words needs to go back to the third grad and whine to theo momma.

    • dphilips

      you ma’am are a bigot!

      • Sarah

        This is not a race issue. The first issue this is a park that is used to capacity during the nice months. A dog park would impede on the people currently using the park. Secondly it is a memorial park, be it MLK Park or JFK Park, it is a memorial park and that should be respected. Would it be okay to put a dog park at Lincoln Memorial? The fact that people can’t agree on how a Memorial Park is understandable but the hate that is being spread is not. It is clear that racism still exist today and if it isn’t evident in the system, it is now very evident in the comments shared about this story. For that I am very sad.

      • Julie

        I sir, amnot a bigot.
        I just speak my mind.
        I was not rude to anyone, I did not toss any bad derogatory words nor did I insult with intent. I was upset because of the people who started singing the songs whenever they didn’t get their way.

        Singing songs won’t get anything done.
        If people want things to get done that only people on city councils or other governing bodies can get done then, they need to get out in politics and become advocates, or someone that can get things done the legal way.
        Making a spectacle of yourselves does not necessarily get the job done.
        What it does is allow politicians to brush it aside because it is an emotional outburst that will be forgotten in a week.

        p.s. I am an outspoken Kenyan American who does not sugarcoat things too often.

    • Lock the kooks up

      julie = moron and 100% idiot. A real pooper

      • Julie

        Lock the kooks up, your village just called and said that their idiot is missing.

  • T

    Sounds like it is time to change the name of the park.

  • Alert U

    Americans are worshipping dogs now; in the same manner Hindu India worships cows. Horses have their place in the American psyche as well. In the past of America a champion horse had more value than a human Negro. Makes me wonder if current Americans of such a racial diabolism is placing the dog above the Negro as well.

    • M

      Yeah, and a human Negro was given safer jobs while Irish indentured servants were given jobs like….placing the dynamite. Stop wondering, you are over analyzing…work on your political correctness that is inhibiting rational thought.

    • Ronnie in Mpls

      people put mutts above people and even their own family. not new – shows instead of evolution they are regressing. nothing new there either.
      God help us please

  • M

    It is a more than a little odd that they chose the MLK park to hoste a dog park. Why that park? Were there other options? But Mpls “liberal” politicians are that way. They tend to be latte liberals who will throw the people UNDER the bus when they want their way on goofy projects.
    Food & medicine for kids OR “artistic water fountains that will expose the error of drinking water from plastic bottles”. Geez, that phonyness is why I can’t stand Mpls politicians. Good luck real people living in Mpls.

    • AJ

      1, When you disagree with something is it always a liberals fault?
      2. If you have nothing to do with the city nor want anything to do with the city than let the people of the city run their city. Medical programs are run by the county not the city.

  • George

    I don’t believe a dog park should be part of any other park where children play. Some of the best mannered pet dogs have frightened people even while simply being playful. An off-the-leash dog is a big responsibility, both to the community and the dog. I use to take my dog to the river bottoms not far from the rowing club. I don’t know if it’s still as spacious down there but worth considering. She used to “run for days”. ‘

    I’m white, but JULIE I can’t help thinking you’ve got some real racist issues. I’m sorry for you.

    • lalie

      Actually they should just take out the basketball hoops and get rid of the playground equipment. It might help to clean up that area if they make it into a dog park. I grew up by that park. It is no place for kids. AT ALL!!! Drug deals and fighting it is just a place for the thugs to hang out. My brother was jumped by 7 or 8 guys at that same park cause he was wearing the wrong color t-shirt.

      And with most off leash dog parks, it’s still fenced in.

      • Todd

        I strongly suggest that we completely ban dangerous dogs from Minneapolis. It has become a status symbol for many folks to harbor dangerous pit bull dogs with their spikes on their neck chaned to their front yard to keep people away. Away from what? drug deals? Let’s have a search and destroy for any dangerous dogs that exist in Minneapolis proper. Only until then will we have a safer city. If babies can be aborted then dangerousl animals can be destroyed.

    • LaurieA

      AGREE George.
      Well stated and the last sentence is the Crown Jewel

      • Julie


        AGREE George.
        Well stated and the last sentence is the Crown Jewel

        My my my, aren’t we being judgemental.
        You don’t even know me girl. In fact you all misunderstood.
        Keep on hatin.
        It makes the world go ’round.

  • CJ

    This is an example of why we can’t get simple things done anymore. People it’s a freakin’ park, dogs are already allowed there as are white people. What’s my point, well you see white people enslaved blacks so what an abonishment to MLK to allow white people to tread on a park named in his honor.
    Yeah you’re argument against having this dog park is that stupid sounding to the rest of us.

    • liam parrish

      blacks enslave themselves more than any white person ever could

  • Tb

    These people don’t want equal treatment. They want exclusive treatment. If the park was named after Wellstone there would never have been a discussion.
    Let Bill Cosby decide.

    • David the honkey

      Bill Cosby is an Uncle Tom, a sell out, an oreo cookey. He did somthing with his life. Those people will not be happy with his choice. Maby O,J. Simpsion”s desission would be better.

  • Kevin

    This is the dumbest argument ever, its a park not his grave.

  • David the honkey

    Good God, don’t let the doggie doodie on the grass. It’s disrespectful.

    • Not Around Me You Don't

      actually it is. wanna roll in it David?

  • JKB

    I dont know what the fuss is all about. We have two local dog parks and so far so good. after 3 years.There are rules, and one is each party is responsible for picking up their animals droppings. Of course, youll get some that dont abide by that though, but thats been the only complaint. The dogs have enjoyed running, and meeting new friends. There hasnt been any dog fights, or incidents of other bad behaviors. Check with other cities that have the parks, get their input before deciding to abandon the idea. There has been more praises than complaints here.

    • Crystal

      Nobody is against a dog park. There are 19 parks in the district. Just pick another park, end of discussion.

  • brett

    This “outrage” is far reaching. Should fire hoses then be removed for consideration in case of a fire within the park?

  • liam parrish

    Are they offended by Michael Vick then too? In most US Cities, MLK Blvds are the most crime ridden & violent neighborhoods. The irony here is rich.

  • GLM

    At the dogpark I go to, everyone enjoys each others company and dogs. We are all together sharing stories and laughing. Who care what race someone is. This is about enjoying the company of dogs and owners. For crying out loud! Get over it. I would imagine that MLK would have taken his dog to a park and enjoyed someone else’s dog and company. Good grief.

    • Foge

      I think they should invite Michael Vick to do the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new dog park.

  • liam parrish

    Better consult with Sharpton on this one

  • red


  • liam parrish

    There seems to be more “outrage” over this Dog park than the Failed Neighborhood Schools that were closed for not educating children..Odd priorities for sure..but what’s new?

    • Foge

      Exactally. I think this group that is whining about this needs to get their priorities straight.

  • liam parrish

    How about the young child attacked & killed by the vicious Pit Bull that was chained in the basement of the garbage house in North Mpls? Where was Spike Lee when that happened?

  • liam parrish

    MLK Park should be reserved for robberies,drug dealing & the saggy pants community, in honor of his good name.

    • EasyNowPardner

      drinking some more Irish whiskey I see that liam. you be a piece of work. or doggy droppings

  • Sam

    I think the solution here is that the dog park be placed in a park named after a white person. Would that be OK? I’m sure it would. Insofar as dogs being used during the riots, the dogs are color blind; they only do what they are trained to do. Trained just like the German Sheppard’s used in the Vietnam war (same time frame as the riots) to save the lives of our brave soldiers; both black and white. How is a person disrespected by placing a dog park within a park named after them? If there were a park named after me, would I then be disrespected by placing a dog park within it? If not, then why not? Am I any less of a human than MLK? Am I worth less than he? Am I less able to be disrespected? To be clear, I am not saying my personal accomplishments are anywhere even close to what Dr. King did or that I am worthy of having a park named after me. My question is why is it OK to have dog parks in other parks named after white people, but not OK to have one in a park named after a black hero?

    • Mark in Waconia

      I think it would depend on what the Park currently is called. If it was named after a National Leader per se or a President I think there are better places to do it.
      Some things hold a great deal of meaning to some people. That is not rocket science, rather just using common sense.
      I am white and this is my opinion. Some could care less, some will care more. Human nature.
      Why create an issue by using something sensitive to others? Curious!?

  • http://www.fanfan81.tk/gogps/archives/good-morning-buffalo.html Good Morning, Buffalo | Hot One | Just another WordPress site

    […] Outrage Over Proposed Off-Leash Dog Park In MLK Park The Minneapolis Park Board listened to a long line of angry pleas Wednesday night at a public hearing over a plan to put an dog park inside Minneapolis’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Read more on CBS Minnesota […]

  • Steve

    I didn’t realize MLK park is owned by the negro community. Maybe if this is the case the negro community can take care of the upkeep instead of the city. And by the way NO WHITES ALLOWED!!

  • jeff

    I think its a shame that the parks wanted to invest in this community and they denied it. They are trying to better your community not offend it.

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