Community leaders call for former Minneapolis chief of staff to be reinstated after 'white boys' remark

A group of community leaders is calling for the reinstatement of the Minneapolis Police Department’s deputy chief of staff.

Art Knight was demoted by Chief Medaria Arradondo after comments Knight made in the Star Tribune that focused on increasing diversity in the MPD.

Knight is quoted as saying “you’re just going to get the same old white boys” when talking about recruitment efforts. The comment upset some officers in the department who complained to the chief and the city about it.

The chief ended up “un-appointing” Knight as deputy chief, but he remains a lieutenant.

Meanwhile, the police union sent a letter to its members telling them to inform the city if they have been impacted or harmed by Knight.

Saturday's community leaders called on Knight's supporters on the police force to also show their support.

"What we also want to do is challenge the officers in the department who stand in solidarity with Art Knight, who knows his character, who knows his intention and his love for this city and his desire to see a police force that is reflective of the people of Minneapolis," said Alicia Smith with Minnesota Safe Streets.

"I think they overstepped when they did that and further divided not only black and white in the community but also within the police department," added former Minneapolis sergeant Lisa Clemons.

The leaders also said Knight and his family were getting threats. The Minneapolis Police Department tells FOX 9 they have zero tolerance for anything like that, but that they also aren’t aware of any threats.