'Outraged' Harteau apologizes for officers' conduct in Green Bay - KMSP-TV

'Outraged' Harteau apologizes for officers' conduct in Green Bay

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Describing the video posted on local news sites as "appalling," Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau issued an apology to the community over two officers' conduct in Green Bay, Wis.

2 MPD OFFICERS ON LEAVE: http://bit.ly/13sYhlV

Harteau issued a statement saying she was outraged by what police reports described as a verbal altercation laced with racial slurs and an attack on her.

"What I saw and heard on the video posted on several news websites involving these two officers is appalling and goes against everything we stand for," Harteau said. "The type of behavior exhibited on the public video significantly damages public trust. Every member of this department and community deserves better."

Harteau also extended the apology to the community of Green Bay and their police department.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak echoed Harteau's sentiments on Tuesday afternoon, saying, "I was appalled and disgusted by the behavior of two Minneapolis police officers that I saw on the video from Green Bay."

"The actions, language and behavior I saw in no way reflect the values of a department paid to protect and serve our community," Rybak continued. "I will await the results of the internal investigation and I am confident that Chief Harteau will take all appropriate action."

Due to data privacy laws, Harteau is not allowed to comment further on the case. At this point, it is unclear what disciplinary actions the officers may face.


Officer Brian Thole and Officer Shawn Powell were taken off the streets after an altercation in Green Bay on June 29. Neither officer was arrested; however, FOX 9 News obtained the incident reports and confirmed their involvement.

Green Bay police were called to the scene of a disturbance and found two groups of people arguing in the middle of the street. Dash cam video shows police breaking up the crowd, but Thole and Powell did not want to go quietly to their side of the street.

"I don't need to chill out. These motherf-----s right here came down on us," one of the Minneapolis officers said. "I told them we were police officers. He charged me and I punched him, and I'll do it again."

Both Thole and Powell told responding officers they had gone to grab a few drinks, and police reports describe them as drunk and belligerent. According to the incident report, the Minneapolis officers openly called the Green Bay police "a joke" because they were upset they weren't being taken seriously.

Worse still, Green Bay police say Thole and Powell were repeatedly using racial slurs against African Americans.

"Green Bay is too n----- friendly," one of the Minneapolis officers reportedly said after an African American drove by prior to the street argument.

Even Harteau herself became a target in the Minneapolis officers' tirade. While speaking to police, one of the two Minneapolis officers complained it would be a problem if they were named in a police report because "we have a lesbian f---ing chief that's looking to fire people for any reason."


Minneapolis City Councilman Gary Schiff told FOX 9 News the video is the latest black eye for the city's SWAT team. Earlier this month, the team's leader, Sgt. David Clifford, was sentenced to more than three years in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a man at a bar in Andover.


"Taxpayers are tired of settlements and other police officers are tired of seeing the good name of the Minneapolis Police Department smeared again and again," Schiff said. "The words used by these officers are intolerable, hateful and they show they cannot honorably serve and protect every resident of Minneapolis -- especially those in LGBT and African American communities."

Both Thole and Powell are also SWAT team members, and Powell was also one of six officers involved in the brutal beating of Derryl Jenkins in 2009 that resulted in the city paying out a $235,000 settlement.

"I've always said we must call out the bad apples when we see them, and this is clear: These are bad apples and they must go," said Don Samuels, chair of the City Council's Public Safety Committee and mayoral candidate.

Samuels spoke strongly against the actions of the officers involved and said he believes both should resign.

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