Community members gather to trim tree outside MPD's 4th precinct

- Activists in Minneapolis met at the fourth police precinct Friday to bring holiday decorations that reflect the community.

This gathering was a response to what some deemed as racist decorations that were put on a Christmas tree in the lobby of the precinct last week.

A week ago, an image of the tree angered city leaders and community members.

Tonight, another Christmas tree is up to send a different kind of message. Friday night, they the community gathered to trim the tree at a community holiday party.

“I feel great emotionally,” said Kim Caprini. “If you would have asked me that a week ago, I would have said something very different.”

Caprini, a Minneapolis resident, brought a pair of ornaments representing the area codes she lives and works in to add the 9-foot tall tree in hopes the Christmas spirit can counteract the controversy.

“I wanted to come down with my homemade ornaments to share with other people who appreciate the hard work we’ve done to cultivate those relationships with police and I hope we can get past it and mend,” Caprini added.

Two officers have been placed on leave while an investigation into the racist tree is conducted and the commander of the fourth precinct has been removed.

“To show our community what we really represent which is love, community, joy, Christmas, to really give a proper representation of Christmas on the north side,” said Chauntyll Allen, of Black Lives Matter Twin Cities.

Community leaders want an overhaul of the fourth precinct and more input on what happens inside the building.

“I know we will be getting together and having a conversation about their concerns both historical and current and what I can do to lean into that space and help us collectively heal and move forward,” Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Caprini says getting officers to respect the community they are supposed to protect and serve would be the best Christmas present of them all.

“Show some dignity,” Caprini said. “Be better. Do better.”

Organizers are expected to present their demands to the chief and mayor Monday. In the meantime, they hope their tree will be able to stay here until Christmas.

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