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.