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St. Paul PD Takes Over Investigation into Cedar-Riverside Caucus

Updated: 02/22/2014 9:19 AM
Created: 02/22/2014 9:13 AM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart

St. Paul police will be investigating after the Minneapolis police were called in to a fight at the Cedar-Riverside DLF caucus earlier this month.

Police were called after some pushing, shoving and disagreements during the caucus at the Brian Coyle Center on Feb. 4. Organizers ultimately shut the caucus down.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges asked Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau if she could transfer the investigation.

“Over the past few weeks, I have been disturbed by the allegations of violence and intimidation that happened at the Cedar-Riverside caucus,” said Mayor Hodges. “I asked Police Chief Harteau if she could transfer the independent investigation to avoid any perception of a potential conflict of interest. In this unusual situation, when elections and politics are involved, it is in the public interest to ensure there is an absolute level of transparency and fairness to not just those involved, but to the entire City and State. It is imperative to all that we make sure there is not an ounce of question about the impartiality of this investigation.”

“I have the utmost confidence in my police department and their handling of the case thus far. Due to the unique circumstances presented in this case, our partners in Saint Paul will now oversee this independent investigation,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau. “I want to thank Saint Paul Police Chief Tom Smith for his assistance.”

Minnesota Public Radio News reports at least one woman, Minneapolis City Council aide Ilhan Omar, was injured in the scuffle.
    
The caucus had drawn a crowd because of a challenge to longtime DFL state Rep. Phyllis Kahn. Many showed up to support Minneapolis School Board member Mohamud Noor.

The caucus reconvened at the U of M Feb. 19.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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