Commission Upholds Firing of 2 Mpls. Cops after 2013 Green Bay Incident

Updated: 07/28/2014 6:29 PM
Created: 07/28/2014 1:41 PM
By: Megan Matthews

Two Minneapolis police officers have been formally fired after an incident last June in Green Bay.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau released a statement Monday saying, “the Minneapolis Civil Service Commission upheld my December 3, 2013, decision to remove two police officers from the Minneapolis Police Department following their conduct in Green Bay, Wisconsin last year.”

Now former officers Brian Thole and Shawn Powell, were caught on dash camera outside a Green Bay bar using racial slurs to refer to several black men they got into an altercation with. The two could be heard using an expletive when referring to the sexual orientation of Harteau, who is openly gay, and disparaging the Green Bay police officers who responded to the incident.

The officers were initially put on paid administrative leave. Harteau said the officers have been fired as of last week.

“It is never easy to face the decision to terminate one’s employment, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly. However, please be assured of my commitment to take every step possible to ensure the public trust necessary to an effective police force and the community it serves,” Harteau continued in her statement. “The decision is indicative of the Minneapolis Police Department’s continued focus on a culture of accountability.”

According to the internal investigation, both Thole and Powell argue that the discharge is inappropriate, because they were not charged in the incident. They argue they are being disciplined more harshly than others who have broken the same rules.

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