MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two Minneapolis police officers have been fired after a June incident with Green Bay Police.
In June, SWAT officers Brian Thole and Shawn Powell were visiting Green Bay off-duty when they got into a street fight. A police report from that night says one of the officers punched a man, gave the middle finger to the Green Bay Police and used derogatory remarks and racial slurs when referring to their boss.
According to the report, the officers didn’t think Green Bay Police were taking the street fight seriously, so they walked into the police station and demanded special treatment.
Both officers told their side of the story to investigators in November.
Sources told WCCO-TV Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau fired both officers Tuesday but in a short statement, she said she would not provide further details, due to privacy laws.
Both officers had been collecting their full-time paychecks, or about $70,000 combined between the two of them, and have been on home assignment ever since the June incident.
Deputy Chief Travis Glampe explained the lengthy internal investigation process in November, saying what happens in internal affairs investigations needs to protect the employee and the process, and that what may seem clear must be checked out just like it would be in any criminal case.
But, with something like that happened in Wisconsin, there is a much larger file, since the investigation involves dozens of witness interviews, evidence collection and it took place all in another state.
“It would be nice to have a much quicker for the public, the department and certainly the officers,” Glampe said last month.
Thole and Powell had a chance to present their side of the story before a three-person police panel last month.
That panel then made a recommendation to Harteau about whether or not they should be fired. Ultimately, it was up to Harteau for the final decision.
These officers can still fight to get their jobs back, by filing a grievance with the police union.
They also have some other options available to them because they are both military veterans.
But all of those appeals must be completed first before Chief Harteau is able to say anything more about their employment status with the Minneapolis Police Department.