Updated: May 05, 2021 11:23 PM
Created: May 05, 2021 09:57 PM
The St. Paul City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday in support of a resolution asking the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board to review livestreams conducted by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.
The Facebook segments run on a regular basis and are called “Live on Patrol” capturing Fletcher’s street patrols — often in St. Paul.
A majority of the City Council said they have concerns about Fletcher’s actions while patrolling city streets and want the POST Board to determine if they “violate Ramsey County policies” and “Minnesota code of conduct” for law enforcement officers.
Council member Chris Tolbert criticized Fletcher’s patrols as potential safety risks for “citizens and St. Paul police officers."
“Car chases in neighborhoods, specifically, and this has been well documented in media reports in November 2020, where the Sheriff went the wrong way down a residential street,” Tolbert said. “And he can be heard saying, ‘Keep that off, OK, the wrong way part,’ which is particularly concerning because he refuses to wear a body camera and then he can decide what the public sees, which is something to remember when we talk about transparency.”
Fletcher showed 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a photo of him taken shortly after he was assaulted while attempting to break up a domestic dispute and pointed out that the photo showed him wearing a body camera.
“So this is disingenuous to throw out these false facts around it,” Fletcher said. “We welcome any kind of review, but what bothers us is the real motive behind the resolution, which is to keep the residents of St. Paul in the dark about the rise in violent crime in their city and that’s the motive of five City Council members.”
Fletcher said he has no intention of ending his “Live on Patrol” segments and said his office is working on expanding it to other deputies across different parts of the day.
Fletcher told KSTP he started “Live on Patrol” last year after the death of George Floyd to be more transparent and show the public the day-to-day operations of law enforcement on the street.
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