October 30, 2017 01:32 PM
St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter said the racist attacks from the St. Paul Police Federation and an independent political action committee are not surprising or unique, and signal a larger conversation that needs to be had.
Carter, joined by Sen. Al Franken, addressed supporters Saturday at a door-knocking kickoff event in St. Paul. It was the first opportunity Carter has taken to address the controversy of the last week.
A letter, sent by the St. Paul Police Federation, called into question why Carter wasn't more cooperative with police after two guns were stolen from his home during a burglary. A mailer put together by the "Building A Better St. Paul" political action committee (PAC) was sent out a day after the letter and made similar accusations.
The PAC is partially funded by the St. Paul Police Federation.
Carter told reporters Saturday that while the attack targeted his family, it also raised the issue of a broader culture divide between police and people of color.
"This is bigger than just one isolated incident," Carter said. "This is indicative of a broader culture that we have to address as a city."
Several people, including Carter's opponent Pat Harris, are calling for the resignation of the federation board members. Dave Titus, president of the executive board, said in a statement that the federation, "had little to no involvement" with the flier or the letter, but that he takes, "full responsibility."
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also called for the police union board resignations.
Carter said while that is something to consider, a larger issue looms.
"As far as St. Paul is concerned, I believe we deserve a police union that works well with city leadership, that works in the best interest of our city and represents our rank-and-file officers," he said. "And I think they have a point, that there's something there to look at."
On Friday, "Building A Better St. Paul" announced it would take steps to "wind down" activity and plan to donate the remaining campaign contributions to a non-profit.
Updated: October 30, 2017 01:32 PM
Created: October 28, 2017 05:48 PM
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