Someone is trying to warn residents of Minneapolis that police in the area are a bit, er, jumpy.
From the Star Tribune:
Joe Morino brought an incredulous friend to see the orange street sign he just spotted in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The official-looking metal sign read: “WARNING: TWIN CITIES POLICE EASILY STARTLED.” It featured a graphic silhouette of a police officer, a gun in each raised hand, shooting in both directions.
“There’s a side of truth to the sign,” Morino said after snapping a picture of it. “That tells you there is something wrong with the system.”
The sign, which was still up at 8 p.m. Sunday, was one of at least two seen in the Twin Cities Sunday.
Another sign was spotted near the corner of Snelling and University avenues in St. Paul, according to a photo that circulated Sunday on social media. A Facebook post said that sign later was removed.
Each was screwed into upright metal posts in the same fashion as conventional street signs, making them appear official.
The signs appear to have been inspired by two officer-involved shootings this month in Minneapolis.
On July 8, Minneapolis cop Michael Mays shot two dogs in their own backyard. Thankfully, the dogs survived, but they suffered serious injuries, not to mention the emotional trauma of being shot in their own yard. Mays attempted to justify firing at the dogs, claiming that they were charging him. But Jennifer LeMay, the dogs’ owner, has surveillance video footage that proves Mays is lying – the dogs were not charging the cop, and did not present a threat to him.
On July 15, Justine Damond was fatally shot by Officer Mohamed Noor after she called 911 to report a possible assault behind her home. Officer Matthew Harrity, Noor’s partner, told the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) that he was startled by a loud sound near the squad car right before Damond approached and was shot by Noor. It’s not clear what the “loud noise” was that Harrity described hearing, but police dispatch audio released online shows there was a report of “aerial fireworks” in the area that night.
Two previous deaths by Minneapolis cops raised concerns about the state of policing in that city.
In 2016, Philando Castile was shot to death by a Minneapolis cop during a traffic stop – in front of his girlfriend and her daughter. Jeronimo Yanez, the cop who killed Castile, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, but was found not guilty. Yanez was fired from the police force and then given nearly $50,000 and any unused personal leave pay as part of a voluntary separation agreement. Valerie Castile, the shooting victim’s mother, was awarded a $3 million settlement, which precluded the possibility of a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
Jamar Clark was shot by Minneapolis police in November 2015. Clark was unarmed, but police say he reached for a cop’s gun during an altercation with two officers and was “actively resisting arrest.” Many witness accounts dispute the cops’ story. Some witnesses reported that Clark was in handcuffs when he was shot in the head, calling it an “execution-style” killing. Clark died in the hospital the night after the shooting.
Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau resigned on Friday at the mayor’s request. Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement that “I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further” and that “it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well.”
From The New York Times:
Chief Harteau, a 30-year veteran of the Minneapolis police force, said in a statement that “the recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a department.”
“I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the M.P.D. to be the very best it can be,” Chief Harteau said. “The city of Minneapolis deserves the very best.”
As of July 23, 684 people have been killed by cops in the US in 2017, reports the website Killed By Police.
Perhaps signs like the ones appearing around Minneapolis are needed everywhere in America.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”