ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - The mayor of St. Paul is calling for the resignation of the board of the St. Paul Police Federation after recent comments regarding St. Paul mayoral candidate Melvin Carter.
In August, Carter's home was burglarized. Among the items he lost included two guns. Carter was not able to give the investigators the serial numbers to guns.
Tuesday, in an open letter, the federation criticized him for not providing the numbers.
The Carter campaign called the letter a "racist attack."
In a statement, Dave Titus, president of the St. Paul Police Federation, took full responsibility for the letter, but said he will not resign.
Titus called the letter an "ill-advised political attack." He said it was meant to "highlight inconsistencies" and was not racially motivated.
"In no way were we implying the these guns were used in the commission of a crime, rather that we need a mayor whose priority is public safety," Titus said in the statement.
Titus said the St. Paul Police Federation political awareness committee will cease political activities for the remainder of the election.
Mayor Chris Coleman full statement
"David Titus and the board of the Saint Paul Police Federation have embarrassed the good men and women of the Saint Paul Police Department for too long. The racist attacks and hollow apologies of the last two days may have been aimed at one candidate, but they affect all people of color, and all people of character. They are not worthy of Saint Paul.
"I am calling on the board of the Federation to resign. The time has come for new leadership who understand that their role is to build bridges, not deepen divides."
St. Paul Police Federation president
“My executive board of the Saint Paul Police Federation had little to no involvement in the political activities of the past week. As President of the Saint Paul Police Federation and Chair of the Federation Political Awareness Committee, I take full responsibility. I regret the distraction this has caused during such an important mayoral race and period of violent crime in our City. I regret the negative attention this has brought on the Police Federation Executive Committee and membership. The Saint Paul Police Federation Political Awareness Committee will be stopping all political activities for the remainder of this election.
The letter released by the Federation on Tuesday was an ill-advised political attack meant to highlight inconsistencies, that was in no way shape or form racially motivated. Once the ramifications of the letter became clear I issued a sincere apology to the Carter Family, an apology I reiterate today. I then made a request that Building a Better Saint stop all communications, mail or otherwise, regarding this topic as it had become racial charged which was not the intent of anyone involved. Unfortunately, the campaign mailer that arrived in mailboxes yesterday had already been sent. In no way were we implying these guns were used in the commission of a crime, rather that we need a Mayor whose priority is public safety.
As to the calls for my resignation, I’m elected by the membership of the Saint Paul Police Federation. I have an open-door for discussion with any member. When my term expires, my members have the opportunity judge me by my overall body of work.”