MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota police union leaders are furious with Gov. Mark Dayton over comments he made blaming the fatal shooting of Philando Castile on racial bias.
Union leaders were also taken back by Dayton’s suggestion that a new police training fund be named in memory of Castile. Dayton asked the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to name the fund in honor of Castile at a news conference Thursday.
The fund will direct $12 million toward training for officers working in “diverse communities,” according to the governor’s office.
Some call the governor’s suggestion an insult, accusing Dayton of “kicking Minnesota cops to the curb.”
“We need leadership, not words that are going to be divisive,” David Titus said.
St. Paul Police union president David Titus says police officers from across the state are not happy with comments made by Governor Dayton.
“His comments as of late in this last year have just been adding fuel to the fire,” Titus said.
He says the governor’s ask to name the new police training fund after Castile adds insult to injury.
“As a cop, as a federation leader sitting on the post board, I can tell you we don’t name funding sources. We don’t give them a title. It’s nothing we’ve ever addressed before and, that being said, I oppose it. I don’t agree with it,” Titus said.
Dayton met with police chiefs from across Minnesota Friday at the State Capitol. He said his comments were not meant to be critical of law enforcement.
“I have the upmost respect and admiration for law enforcement throughout Minnesota they keep our citizens safe they put their lives on the line every day and night to protect the rest of us,” Dayton said.
Dayton says it’s hard to find a balance between supporting the black community’s call for police reform and supporting law enforcement.
He says he doesn’t want this misunderstanding to overshadow the meeting with chiefs of police, a meeting he says focused on best practices across the state that are making an impact in improving police and community relations.
Dayton says the POST board has the final say on naming the bonding bill in Castile’s memory. Titus believes the Governor should retract his request to name the bill.