MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No charges will be filed against two Minneapolis police officers who got into a fight in Green Bay, Wis. earlier this summer, according to a Green Bay Police representative.
Officers Brian Thole and Shawn Powell are accused of using racial slurs during the June 29 incident and some of it was caught on tape by a police squad’s dash camera. They were off-duty at the time.
When Green Bay Police arrived and later questioned the officers, sources say while they explained what happened, they used racial slurs, and referred to Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau’s sexuality by using a sexually derogatory term for a woman.
According to the Assistant Green Bay City Attorney Kail Decker, there are really two incidents that the Attorney’s Office had to review.
The first is the fight that occurred before police arrived, but since no victims were identified, and Thole and Powell stated they acted in self-defense, there is no evidence to support criminal charges, Decker said.
Decker said the officers also faced a potential non-criminal ordinance violation of disorderly conduct, which is issued by Green Bay Police. The violations do not result in fines. However, since profanity or racially-charged language does not constitute disorderly conduct in and of itself, the Attorney’s Office agreed with the Green Bay Police’s decision not to issue a disorderly conduct ordinance violation.
Decker added that profanity or racially-charged language can only result in a violation if it can cause or provoke a disturbance. Since Thole and Powell were addressing the responding police, the threshold to issue a citation was not met.
The two officers remain on paid administrative leave as the department continues its internal affairs investigation into the case.
After the leave announcement, Harteau later released a statement, saying the behavior “is appalling and goes against everything we stand for.”