Edina Citizens Demand Justice Following Officer Incident

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The controversy continues in Edina after a recent police incident.

It’s been one week since a video was posted online showing a black man being put into handcuffs after walking in the street.

The posted video shows Edina police officer Tim Olson detaining Larnie Thomas. Thomas was not taken to jail. Instead, the officer took him to a local shopping mall, where he asked to be dropped off.

Thomas was issued a citation for walking in the street, but it has since been dropped.

On Tuesday night, the Edina City Council held its first meeting since the incident.

People packed the room, as council members listened to numerous people speaking overwhelmingly against the officer’s actions and calling for changes.

“Mayor and City Council, these police work for you. Whoever said this was protocol, protocol should be that [the] cop would have pulled over that young man [and] said, ‘Can I help find a way to walk, I don’t want you to get hit by a car,'” Bill English said.

“I love this city. I’d love to continue to live here later in my life, but I want us to make changes. So, let’s get to work and have the courage to make police reform and combat systemic racism. Thank you,” citizen Gabe Aderhold said.

After three hours of public comment, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland said that the officer was following protocol. But he also apologized and said he hoped changes would be made to avoid an incident like this again in the future.

“One thing that we can’t deny here is that Officer Olson maintained his calm, and we didn’t have a little situation turn into a really bad situation like has happened so many places in the world,” Hovland said. “We know we can do better as a community.”

“You can say what you want, you can sugar coat the story by saying we didn’t see the whole video. I think every single person in here that’s a decent human being knows exactly what happened to Mr. Thomas was wrong,” Catherine Jones, second vice president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said.

“I think at least, the very least, Lieutenant Olson should be suspended and investigated. And, in addition, what is a lieutenant doing hauling somebody across the street. Completely inappropriate,” Red Wing attorney Carol Overland said.

No action came from this meeting; the city said it just wanted to start a dialogue and hear from voices from across the metro.

The Minneapolis NAACP issued a list of demands after the video was posted, including wanting an independent investigation by the BCA.

Mayor Hovland said he had asked the BCA if they wanted to conduct an investigation but they declined.


One Comment

  1. Concerned about this says:

    Don’t act like an A-hole and you won’t be treated like one. Get that chip off your shoulder and learn some respect.

    1. Kerry Maxwell says:

      That’s a little harsh towards Lt. Tim Olson, but yes he should learn some respect.kl

  2. Bran8181 says:

    If I was the mayor, I think I would shift the focus on how this is NOT how someone reasonable should interact with a police officer or anyone for that manor. Treat people with respect and treat them civil.

    If a police officer asks you to move off of the roadway and you don’t, you shouldn’t be surprised if the officer sticks around and DOES HIS JOB.

    If you flail your arms around, his a car with your backpack, and throw a tantrum that wouldn’t even be acceptable for a 5 year old to throw, expect to be detained and probably cited for disorderly conduct.

    This stuff is pretty darn simple.

    The video didn’t start when the incident began, it started a little while after the initial incident actually happened but it looks to me in this video that this officer showed a lot of restraint while he waited for backup. With the guy’s hissy fit, the officer had every right to take him down to the ground and detain him right there and than. If someone flails their arm in front of me the way this guy did, I wouldn’t think twice before taking them down for my own safety.

  3. memphisgrass says:

    Who is this fool that says she walks down the middle of the streets everyday. I spend a lot of time in Edina, I have NEVER seen anybody walk down the middle of the street. Not in Edina, not anywhere.

  4. memphisgrass says:

    This woman in the video should be ashamed of herself for making up stories, lies. ” I walk down the middle of the street everyday ” If you do, you should be arrested.

  5. Anthony says:

    Demanding justice for what? There is clearly a sidewalk available. Black, white or green skin, if you walk down the middle of the street and an officer comes upon you, he is going to tell you to get off the road. If you refuse, you get arrested. Pretty simple. If the man was let go and then run over, people would be asking where were the police to protect him. This narrative against law enforcement is getting so tired.

  6. memphisgrass says:

    Kessa Moses please explain to everybody why you would be walking down the middle of the streets. Or is this an colossal distortion to get attention?

  7. Spencer Elliott says:

    At first blush, as a historian and with restraint, I see behavior
    reminiscent of the films showing a Nazi grabbing a Jew off the streets
    in 1939. After studying this case further, the comparison is
    unmistakable, chilling.
    – Mr. Thomas is not a dirty rag to be dragged
    around the streets of Edina. This episode leaves us thinking: Who’s
    next, my daughter, my wife or my neighbor?
    Verifiable video
    reporting, and subsequent instant public viewing, may be God’s most
    recent gift to a very troubled nation. Citizen camera-person(s) here,
    and universally, are heroes.
    -The presence of a video-reporter may
    have saved Larnie’s life. Who knows what Olson would have done to his
    ‘captive animal’ if not for a brave citizen filmmaker?
    conclusion now is: Olson was indeed ‘jacking up’ a black man and after
    Olson’s dirty deeds, with the entire Police department in collusion,
    they all went fishing for a reason to charge him with something,
    -This rogue Police department has eroded the public
    trust. — They have not met a high standard here [ far from it ] in
    the eyes of the community. Here they have established an ‘Olson
    standard’ = Unprofessional and disgusting. It will not stand.

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