Community reflects on police relations after Damond shooting

- In wake of the fatal officer-involved shooting in south Minneapolis, residents say they feel current relations between authorities and community members are tense. Though, according to one local professor, every community member plays an important role in maintaining a partnership with police.

“I will never, ever again invite the police into my neighborhood because I fear for my neighbors, and their children and their pets and for myself,” said Karina Karlen, a Minneapolis neighborhood block leader.

Karlen said that she has “always lived under the impression that the police are here to protect and serve, and that sadly isn’t the case anymore.”

The sentiment is one many have insisted is their reality, and at the alleyway memorial for Justine Damond, that sentiment is the theme.

“This case shows that no one is immune,” said Dave Bicking with Communities United Against Police Brutality.

University of St. Thomas sociology and criminal justice Professor Tanya Gladney says she is saddened when she hears the sentiment. Before becoming a professor, she spent a decade in law enforcement.

“It’s a partnership,” said Gladney. “The police need the community and the community needs the police…it’s not a good climate at this point.”

Gladney says the public’s relationship with police is an important one and is needed to obtain accountability and transparency. She says the only remedy is an open line of communication with police.

“It’s time to revisit that partnership and how that partnership needs to change on behalf of the community and how [the police] can better serve the community,” said Gladney.

Gladney also addressed police training and requirements.

She confirms that to be a peace officer in Minnesota, you must have at least a two-year degree, and you must complete a POST board-approved law enforcement program.

She also said no police department can hire anyone who hasn't first completed those steps.
 

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