Saturday, March 13, 2010

MPD Chief Dolan Reappointment Celebration In Pictures!

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

With MPD Chief Dolan reappointed by a vote of 8-5, I thought it would be a good time to publish the last of my photos from the public hearing as a sort of celebration. Dolan's reappointment is a victory for decent people in North Minneapolis. The fact our crime is dramatically down mattered a lot more to a majority of the council members than the opinions of, for example, self-styled police brutality "activists," at least one of which doesn't even live in Minneapolis.

And you know what? I don't even have hard feelings for the council members who voted against Dolan. Such voting may have been strategic, along the lines of, "Yes, let Dolan be reappointed, but we have to let him know how deeply we feel about the need for continued reform." Thus Dolan passed with just enough votes to make it close...but not TOO close. Funny how that works, huh? There is no doubt reform must continue to move forward. The only disagreement among the folks who testified is whether Dolan was the man to do it. I say Dolan, you the man.

First, in regard to the photo above, it just looks like some chairs with "reserved" placards, right? Oh, but there was a little bit of drama associated with those signs. One of the anti-Dolan camp walked in and right away she was all, like, how come the POLICE get reserved seats? In a really nasty tone, too, the kind of intonation which makes you think, "Does this woman go around ALL DAY using that tone like nails on a chalkboard over the most minor of life's annoyances? Why does my gut feel like this is the case?"

This was early in the meeting, and there were still plenty of places to sit. I had to open my mouth and say something like, "There's plenty of seats. What's your problem?" I mean, it wasn't like there were no spots for the woman and her friends and only THOSE SEATS remained. Besides, Dolan was the subject of the hearing and it makes sense a few seats were reserved for Dolan and his entourage. Which, as it turned out, is exactly where he sat.

This kind of thing was typical of the rabid anti-Dolan crowd: any paper-thin excuse to heap criticism on the police, up to and including Dolan sitting where the city council authorities had reserved a place for him to sit...

In the photo above, an example of the "We Want Dolan" stickers. I hear some of the anti-Dolan crowd grabbed a few of the stickers and modified them with a ballpoint pen to become anti-Dolan stickers. Near the beginning of the meeting, I turned to Dolan and handed him examples of the signs and stickers, saying, "Souvenir, sir." He nodded and said, "Thank you." One commenter at the podium said all the signs and stickers made him think of a DFL convention instead of a public hearing.

Mark my words, the next time Dolan is reappointed (and I predict he will be) the anti-Dolan crowd will go overboard with signs and stickers. If Dolan continues to do a good job (and I predict he will) then pro-Dolan supporters must be ready to "step it up" to meet the challenge.

Deborah Allen didn't support Chief Dolan because he had fired the officer who shot Fong Lee. Of course, all the other anti-Dolan crowd not only supported the firing of the officer, but they were mad because Dolan didn't fire him SOONER and didn't fire him over the Fong Lee killing. Therefore, Allen didn't fit with the pro-Dolan crowd or the anti-Dolan crowd.

In her hands, she holds extensive files. I wasn't clear if the files concerned the firing of the officer, or an incident involving a crime committed against the business Allen used to own, which the officer was investigating. Or, it seemed, some of both. Due to the impending hearing, there wasn't enough time to talk to Allen but she seems to have a very interesting story.

Allen apparently feels the firing of the officer derailed the investigation into what happened at her business and she is unhappy with Dolan for that reason.

The day of the hearing was the same day an article appeared in the Star Tribune, highly critical of Diane Hofstede. It seemed to me Hofstede had a bit of a downcast look, but she attended the hearing and joined Samuels and Johnson in voting for Dolan, talking about what Dolan had done to slash violent crime.

Does that look like the face of a man who thinks he WILL NOT be reappointed? You be the judge.

The group "MADDADS" showed up in force to support Dolan. Here is one of their leaders. I love it when I'm riding a bus and the somebody from the MADDADS group is on board, helping to keep order.

When this woman got up to speak, I braced myself, thinking, "Oh, boy, she's going to say something about cops being mean to homeless people." Instead, she spoke strongly in favor of Dolan, talking about how police under Dolan have been helpful to the homeless. A representative from the Chamber of Commerce also spoke up for Dolan. When you've got the homeless advocates AND the Chamber of Commerce on your side, that's a rare thing.

Here, Tom Cleland and Michael Cavlan pass a note during the proceedings. Cleland was asking Cavlan how to spell "sycophants," a word Cavlan used more than once with his delightful Irish brooooooogue. Cavlan certainly didn't win over any council members with his rant but I sure did get some great video which I intend to post on St. Patrick's Day! (I will also point out Cavlan himself brought up something about Ireland and its "police state," so it's not like I'm going out of my way to mention his brooooooooogue)

Chief Dolan is known to carry his father's revolver. Yes, it's small, but I'm guessing it's a lot more comfortable to haul around all day than a Glock. Small it may be, but would you want to be on its business end?

Why does the council chamber appear to have incandescent lights instead of compact florescent bulbs? Just wondering.

Here is Matt McKinney, the Star Tribune reporter who wrote the execrable "great escape" article about Pete The Pedophile trying--unsuccessfully--to get me served with his gibberish so-called "lawsuit" in council chambers. Speaking to McKinney and reading his article, I took him to be some kind of young and naive intern. I was surprised to find out otherwise. Here's a word of advice to Northsiders: If McKinney calls you, tell him you'll be happy to speak to a DIFFERENT Star Tribune reporter. It appears McKinney is assigned to the "let's bash the police" beat, which is probably related to the "let's bash Northsiders who want to fight crime instead of give trays of brownies to miscreants hanging out all day on the corner" beat.

Here, Dolan and another high-ranking officer stand tall and receive quite a grilling from council members on police reform issues.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the points I made at the podium when speaking in favor of Dolan.

1.) Don't just reappoint Dolan, give him the budget he needs to fight crime. Don't go saying, "Oh, crime is way down. Now we can cut the budget." Administrative staff who help disseminate information--such as former MPD employee Katie Schrieber--are very important to the overall effort, and their jobs should not be slashed in the name of penny-pinching.

2.) Hawthorn Crossings strip mall. Big problem. Crackdown on crime needed there. Haywood Eaton lost his life there, but just recently there was another shooting near the SAME EXACT SPOT.

3.) Part of the crime problem includes uncooperative witnesses who will not identify who shot them, but prefer to engage in cycles of retribution. Maybe these uncooperative witnesses need to be hauled before grand juries, bandages and all.

Last words, in the my last 10 seconds at the podium:

Annshalike Hamilton. Murder still unsolved.

Chief Dolan, please get this horrible crime solved.


MeganG. said...

You left out my favorite picture of the doggy. Can you put it up and tell about his owner?

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