Independent Investigation Sought by Mpls. Mayor, Chief into Arrest of Activist

Updated: 07/29/2014 9:19 PM
Created: 07/29/2014 7:38 PM
By: Cassie Hart

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janeé Harteau are calling for an independent investigation into the recent arrest and injury of a community activist.

Fifty-five-year-old Al Flowers claims officers came to his place on Chicago Avenue South Sunday with a warrant for his daughter. Flowers says when he asked to see it, he was roughed up.

However, the police report contends Flowers assaulted an officer and obstructed justice.

“Chief Harteau and I decided together that transparency and fairness for Mr. Flowers, the police department and the community are best served by an independent investigation,” Hodges said. “We intend to identify the leader of this investigation in the coming days.”

“As I have stated in the past, I have the utmost faith in the abilities and professionalism of our officers in the Minneapolis Police Department,” Harteau said. “I believe an outside investigation is necessary in this case to avoid any appearance of impropriety in the handling of this investigation.”  

Flowers is a one-time mayoral candidate, sometime critic of the police department and former TV host. He now runs a community group aimed at reducing violence.

Since 2004, he's taken legal action six times against the city for racial discrimination and excessive force by officers. 

Leaders of the local NAACP and the Urban League have called for an outside investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: KSTP/ File

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