MPD releases video of controversial 4th Precinct Christmas tree being decorated

December 13, 2018 06:50 PM

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS obtained surveillance video of police officers decorating a Christmas tree at the 4th Precinct with decorations that the city's mayor called "despicable."

The Minneapolis Police Department released the video Thursday morning in response to an open records request filed by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.


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The decorating of the tree, which took place in November, led to two officers being put on paid leave. Days later, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned Assistant Chief Mike Kjos would be taking over the precinct, replacing Aaron Biard.


A photo of the tree on social media showed it was decorated with a Popeye's Chicken cup, beer cans, junk food bags, cigarettes, and other items.

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Following the decoration of the tree, a number of Minneapolis leaders spoke out against the actions of the officers. 

"This behavior is racist, despicable, and is well beneath the standards of any person who serves the city of Minneapolis," Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. 

On Wednesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo spoke publicly about the officers' actions for the first time. 

"It is appalling," he said. "It's something that our values, as a Minneapolis police department, we would not tolerate. That's not a part of who we are, and it absolutely triggered racial animus with members of our African-American community."

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