'Gracious Mob' targets St. Paul Police with food and thanks

Updated: November 28, 2019 05:17 PM

As St. Paul struggles with how to respond to a recent rise in violence and homicide, a social media campaign rallied support for a plan to give back to the city’s police officers who had to work on Thanksgiving.

The self-described “Gracious Mob,” led by former city council candidate Lindsay Ferris Martin, streamed into the police department headquarters for much of Thursday morning, bringing plates of food for officers and even treats for their K9 partners.


“The ‘Gracious Mob’ started about five years ago … because tensions with the police department were high at that time,” Martin said. “Right now, we’re at historic levels of gun violence, and so, there’s still a need to come together.”

Martin says her online efforts have reached nearly 20,000 people in the community, some of whom posted pictures of the food they were preparing to bring to officers on Thanksgiving.

“As we’re gathered around food and comfort, it’s a great reminder to thank those out there keeping us safe so we can enjoy days like this,” Martin said.

The effort was not lost on officers who were on duty and greeted the waves of visitors to the police department’s lobby.

“Everyone here would prefer to be home with their families obviously, but it’s something we chose to do, and we’re here to do it,” said Officer Jesse Zilge. “We feel it. We appreciate it. There’s really no other way to explain it.”

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Eric Rasmussen

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