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Harteau, Rybak Calls 2 Officers’ Behavior ‘Appalling’

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said she’s outraged after seeing the behavior of two of the city’s officers during an incident in Green Bay, Wis. Both have since been placed on administrative leave.

An active internal affairs investigation began Friday into the off-duty officers, Brian Thole and Shawn Powell, after an incident that occurred last month.

The officers — who are both white — were apparently at a bar in Green Bay on June 29 when they got into an argument with two black men and used racial slurs.

When Green Bay Police arrived and later questioned the officers, sources say the men explained what happened, used racial slurs, referred to Chief Harteau’s sexuality and used a sexually derogatory term for a woman.

On Tuesday, Harteau responded to the comment and offered apologies to the community and to the Green Bay Police Department.

Her statement read, “What I saw and heard on the video posted on several news websites involving these two officers is appalling and goes against everything we stand for. The type of behavior exhibited on the public video significantly damages public trust. Every member of this department and community deserves better. I would also like to extend my apologies to the community and the Green Bay Police Department. I am not able to comment further at this time because of data privacy laws.”

Mayor R.T. Rybak echoed Harteau’s sentiments, calling the incident disgusting.

“I was appalled and disgusted by the behavior of two Minneapolis police officers that I saw on the video from Green Bay. The actions, language and behavior I saw in no way reflect the values of a department paid to protect and serve our community. I will await the results of the internal investigation and I am confident that Chief Harteau will take all appropriate action,” he said, in a released statement.

Minneapolis Councilman Don Samuels weighed in, calling the duo an “embarrassment” and “bad apples.”

“The words used are intolerable and extremely hateful,” Samuels said. “And it shows that they cannot honorably serve and protect every resident of Minneapolis, especially those in the LGBT and African-American communities … I’m calling on these two police officers to resign from the Minneapolis Police department immediately.”

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