Support of police, who day in and day out, night in and night out, do a very difficult job, is important.  That support is a long way from support, encouragement and attempted after-the-fact justification of police actions that are racist and unconstitutional, actions recognized near and far as problematic, illegal, and immoral.  There’s this facebook page called “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” that has gone way over the line in support of the unprofessional behavior of Edina’s Lt. Timothy Olson that has received nationwide attention.

Last night at Edina City Council mtg

In the New York Times:

Black Man Is Arrested While Walking, and Minnesota City Starts a ‘Conversation’

NYT quoting NAACP’s Nekima Levy-Pounds:

“In light of the egregious incident that happened, the city of Edina responded at the City Council meeting in a way that demonstrated a level of compassion, and they signaled that they heard what the people had to say,” she said. “I have not seen that happen in any jurisdictions that I have covered.”

The City fathers recognized that the arrest and treatment of Larnie Thomas was a problem and Chief of Police Dave Nelson, Mayor James Hovland, and City Manager Scott Neal issued a unified statement last week:

City of Edina responds to NAACP Minneapolis

PR shilling like this “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” try to spin with censoring, deleting, and blocking, but that is not going to stop progress, and only hurts the image of the Edina Police Department — this effort is as transparent as Mpls. Bob Kroll’s comments against the IACP head’s acknowledgement and apology for “historical mistreatment” — and so 19th Century.  Edina is ready for change, and orchestrated efforts like this only document the problem and show that change is needed.  A change is gonna come…

The City of Edina is working on the “next steps” and a timeline, and seeing this site, I’d guess their inbox and voicemail is full of nastiness and objections similar to what’s seen on the “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” facebook page.  Please send emails of support to the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager for their commitment to address racism:

mbrindle@EdinaMN.gov, kstaunton@EdinaMN.gov, rstewart@EdinaMN.gov, swensonann1@gmail.com, jhovland@EdinaMN.gov, Scott H. Neal <sneal@EdinaMN.gov

What’s the fuss all about?  The day before yesterday, this Post #1, below, shows up on the “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” facebook page.  These posts are used to cast aspersions on the “video woman” who edited the very end of her video to omit her name, address and contact info, and to blame the victim by posting his District Court record, which is irrelevant in stopping someone walking down the street.  They allow comments slandering Larnie Thomas, claims that he was “intoxicated” which he demonstrably was not; claim that he was “walking in the middle of the road” which he was not, and attempt to link other 911 calls.  They post a “full police report” which adds as “eyewitnesses” reports of officers who were not present at the scene and were not called to the scene by Lt. Olson until he’d grabbed Larnie Thomas!

The page is associated with the “Edina Crime Prevention Fund, and here are their IRS Form 990s:




My comments have been deleted (and they were oh-so-gentle), one in particular was hilarious.  From #3:

Bev MomStrong ArmstrongBev MomStrong Armstrong Aaaaand you have voiced your opinion on every Web page word for word. Carol Overland [and my posts were deleted today]. If it is such a problem for you in your opinion, why don’t you run for city council and change things????
Kianta Hafling Kianta Hafling Carol, the mayor and city council never have been in a situation like police officers are in everyday. They’d have no clue what it’s like to have people show you their worst and be criticized for everything because of their uniform. It’s easy to judge something you’ve never done. It’s even easier to jump on bandwagons these days, I guess. Police departments around the country are hiring. Sign up. We could use some experts in the front lines.
Bev MomStrong Armstrong Bev MomStrong Armstrong Love your response!!!!! 😉
To Kianta Hafling, I responded: “I am an attorney sworn to uphold the Constitution.  “It’s easy to judge something you’ve never done.”  (Dead air, but they deleted it this afternoon.  SNORT!)
Brent Yorkshire Brent Yorkshire Carol, if you were truly a lawyer you would know the police would be subject to a “failure to act” lawsuit if they didn’t do something about someone creating a danger to themselves and others. Get a clue!!
Gene Thompson Gene Thompson Vote TRUMP , bring law and order back to our country !

Folks, get a clue.  Posts like these three “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT” on the “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” facebook page do not help at all.  The Edina Police Department doesn’t need “thanks” like that, and the world doesn’t need the waste of these electrons — your “support” hurts them.  With “friends” like this, who needs enemies.?  Think about it.  The City of Edina is under scrutiny, rightfully so.  The City gets it, and the City will have to do some soul-searching review and make thoughtful changes that will not be easy.  The whole world is watching.

Here’s what “We Thank Our Edina Police Department” facebook page, posts #1, #2 and #3 “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT. SHARE THIS” have to say:

An updated police report [HERE in case it gets disappeared:  incident_16003134] [note p. 5-6 & 8-18 state “”THE INFORMATION BELOW IS CONFIDENTIAL – FOR USE BY AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY”]  dated 10/21/16 includes 5 officer statements, 14 witness accounts, witnesses describing repeated behavior by subject later in the day on France Ave, corroborating Minneapolis 9-1-1 transcripts and a documented admission by the original videographer the video was edited to remove her name and number and everything afterwards before posting to YouTube and her reluctance to provide the police department with a full, unedited copy. There is certainly a lot to be learned by all parties. If you care about Edina and your Edina Police Department, then take 15 minutes and read this. Read this before you read anything else. SHARE these facts with your Twin Cities friends. SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. We thank our police officers here at home and those around the country who protect and serve ALL OF US – regardless of Age, Race, Sex, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Pregnancy, Medical Condition, Marital Status, Sexual Orientation and the like – each and every day.

Then yesterday, #2 and #3.  First #2:

Updated Edina Police Report as of 10/21/16 with our summary below of 14 witness statements including Minneapolis PD 9-1-1 call transcripts collaborating characterizations of Subject activity leading up to the “viral video” incident AND then a completely separate incident just two hours later about one mile north on France.

10/12/16 11:45 AM (shortly before the video started):
Witness CR: “The (subject) was not acting rational and that he had never seen so much restraint by any person as he did by the officer”
W JR: “…had to turn (car) slightly into the northbound lane to avoid (subject)”
W MB: “(subject) was walking down the middle of Xerxes, wearing headphones, with southbound traffic backed up behind (subject)”
W MB: “(subject) continued to walk down the center of the street even though (subject) turned and saw the squad car behind (subject)”
W TG: “He observed (subject) walking down the middle of Xerxes Av while wearing headphones and southbound traffic was backed up behind (subject).”
W TG: “(subject) would not move over.”
W TG: “He did not feel that (officer) did anything wrong and wanted to add that ‘he handled the situation well.’”
W MB: “…enough of an obstruction to traffic that drivers were honking their horns…traffic was briefly delayed at one point.”

10/12/16 ~1:50 PM (about one hour after subject was dropped off at Southdale at ~12:30 PM)
W KM: “…man in the intersection of 52nd & France Avenue acting strangely.”
W KM: “…traffic stopped because the man (same one from YouTube video) was standing in the intersection blocking…a driver of truck honked the horn and the man pounded on the hood, then side of the truck…went to the drivers door and grabbed the handle trying to get the door open…”
W BM: “…erratic behavior similar to what he has seen before with patients in a mental health crisis. There were cars stopping and honking at him. At one point the man tried to open the door of a vehicle that had stopped in traffic.”
W DG: “…saw the man (same person he saw in video) later in the day…walking northbound on France Avenue…noticed the man trying car door handles on 2-3 unoccupied parked cars…”
W JW: “(sent letter to Edina police and he is the owner of the white pickup truck man tried to enter)
W SW: “She lives on France Avenue and was stopped in traffic while driving near the area of 52nd & France Ave…man acting strangely (later saw this same person on YouTube viral incident)…man was walking along France Avenue yelling and making sudden movements which she believed were attributed to a mental crisis…”
MPD Call 1: “…a male who was acting very strangely who was yelling at cars, stopping traffic movement and confronting drivers…”
MPD Call 2: “guy walking down the middle of France Ave. near 47th St. W…caller stated the male just about walked into the caller’s vehicle and described the incident as very scary.”

We thank our police officers here at home and those around the country who protect and serve ALL OF US – regardless of Age, Race, Sex, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Pregnancy, Medical Condition, Marital Status, Sexual Orientation and the like – each and every day.

And now #3:

Subject Person of the “viral Edina Police video” is named in an event report on 10/19/2016 after Wells Fargo bank employees called to report “they do not want to approach him due to his level of aggression…”

Subject Person’s Criminal/Traffic/Petty Case Records Search Results:
07/29/13 – Fleeing a peace officer by a means other than a motor vehicle (Dismissed); Hennepin
07/29/13 – Spitting on the sidewalk (Convicted – Petty Misdemeanor); Hennepin
07/29/13 – Ride bicycle on sidewalk where prohibited (Dismissed); Hennepin
10/02/13 – Obstruct legal process – interfere w/ peace officer (Convicted – Gross Misdemeanor); Hennepin
11/27/13 – Emergency telephone calls/communication – interrupt, interfere, impede, disrupt 911 (Convicted – Misdemeanor); Hennepin
11/27/13 – Domestic assault – misdemeanor – commits act to cause fear of immediate bodily harm or death (Dismissed); Hennepin
11/27/13 – Domestic assault – misdemeanor – intentionally inflicts/attempts to inflict bodily harm on another (Dismissed); Hennepin
11/27/13 – Disorderly conduct – offensive/abusive/noisy/obscene (Dismissed); Hennepin
03/31/14 – Fail to pay taxi cab fare – defraud driver or owner (Convicted – Misdemeanor); Hennepin
06/22/15 – Disorderly conduct (Convicted – Misdemeanor); Ramsey
07/15/15 – Disorderly conduct (Convicted – Misdemeanor); Ramsey
07/24/15 – Stalking – Repeatedly make telephone calls, sends texts, induce victim to make calls (Convicted – Gross Misdemeanor); Ramsey
07/24/15 – Domestic abuse – violate order for protection – misdemeanor (Dismissed); Ramsey
07/24/15 – Domestic abuse – violate order for protection – misdemeanor (Dismissed); Ramsey

We thank our police officers here at home and those around the country who protect and serve ALL OF US – regardless of Age, Race, Sex, National Origin, Religion, Disability, Pregnancy, Medical Condition, Marital Status, Sexual Orientation and the like – each and every day.

To each of they sycophant comments, they urge people to share, over and over and over, and to any post challenge, they delete and block.  Don’t worry, there are plenty of screen shots.  But this behavior is so cringingly embarrassing.  EEEEEEEEEEEEUW!  Mighty white of you…


Edina cops going overboard

October 15th, 2016

Another update:  Charges HAVE been dropped.  DONE!

UPDATE — not nearly enough:

Monday, October 17, 2016

City of Edina responds to NAACP Minneapolis

Edina, Minn., Oct. 17, 2016 – Today, Edina Mayor Jim Hovland, City Manager Scott Neal and Police Chief Dave Nelson responded to requests from the NAACP Minneapolis regarding a recent police incident.

Just before noon Oct. 12, an Edina Police Officer observed and stopped Larnie Thomas, who was walking in the southbound lane of traffic on Xerxes Avenue. Thomas was detained at the scene. People across the country are expressing concern about how he was treated by Edina Police.

On Sunday, Oct. 16, Hovland issued a statement, saying that “the officer involved was following established protocol. However, under the circumstances, the City will review that protocol and determine how to better approach this type of incident with greater sensitivity in the future. We will work with the Edina community and invite other organizations to participate in this very important conversation. There are lessons we should and will learn from this experience.” The Mayor also said that in the public’s interest, the citation issued to Thomas will be dismissed.

Over the weekend, the NAACP Minneapolis through a press release and social media posts made six requests of Edina. Following are those requests and Edina’s response:

Yes. The City of Edina will ask the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to conduct an independent investigation of this incident.

Lt. Tim Olson will remain on the job. He and all officers involved followed the Police Department’s established procedures and the incident ended safely.

The City invites Minneapolis NAACP to talk with staff more about this and how the data would be collected and used.

The City of Edina believes the officers involved followed established protocol. The City will review that protocol and determine how to better approach this type of incident with greater sensitivity in the future. There are lessons we should and will learn from this experience, and we will invite the community to participate in this discussion.

Yes. We will provide additional training to Edina Police officers on implicit and explicit bias. We would value suggestions for specific training from the Minneapolis NAACP.

The City of Edina will work with the community to review the report by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, as well as its own practices and protocols. We will also closely monitor the ongoing work of the Governor’s Council on Law Enforcement and Community Relations.


A black man arrested at 59th & Xerxes in Edina for walking while black, in the street because the sidewalks are under construction, and charged with disorderly conduct and pedestrian failure to obey a traffic signal.  His fear is palpable, and his frustration at the cop’s actions are reasonable given that he was grabbed by Lt. T.F. Olson while walking around the construction area.  What’s a Lieutenant doing arresting a guy walking down the street? What would have happened had this not been filmed?  And look at his approach of the woman with the camera, look at his stare, his request for her name and address — that’s a blatant attempt at intimidation, not OK.  Kudos that she continued filming and stood up, gave her name and address.  And thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this video public.

Larnie Thomas was arrested for violation of Minnesota Statutes 169.21; 169.02; and 609.72
. Click on statute number for link.


Apparently, in May 2014, Edina’s chief of police told the City’s Transportation Commission that he did not consider walking in the street to be dangerous behavior and would not attempt to cite for minor infractions related to it. (Original document here: http://edinamn.gov/corecode/uploads/document/uploaded_pdfs/corecode_edina/MINUTES%20for%20May%2015,%202014_475.pdf)

That police officer has been around the block, he’s got grey hair and is a Lieutenant, and should know better than to do this.  On seeing the camera, he should have known that his behavior would be public, and where his conscience and training didn’t kick in, the public nature of his actions should have stopped it right there.  But noooooo… and he radios for help, and another unmarked and marked car and plainclothes and uniformed cops show up.  They handcuff him and toss him in the car.  WHAT?!?!

That’s just 1/2 mile from where I grew up at 60th and Oliver.  And if he were on the other side of the street, he would have been in Minneapolis, and Edina cops would have had no jurisdiction.

Comment on the Edina site: http://edinamn.gov/index.php?section=contact-us

Edina City Council members:

Mary Brindle mbrindle@EdinaMN.gov
Mayor James Hovland jhovland@EdinaMN.gov
Kevin Staunton kstaunton@EdinaMN.gov
Bob Stewart rstewart@EdinaMN.gov
Ann Swenson swensonann1@gmail.com


Here’s Lt. Olsen’s contact info — be cool, no threats:
Timothy Olson Lieutenant 952-826-0490 TOlson@EdinaMN.gov

The next open Edina City Council meeting is Tuesday, October 18th at 7PM. 4801 W. 50th Street, Edina.


In the STrib:

Video of Edina police officer confronting a black man goes viral

From Fox9 News, the “full narrative” of police report, and note this part, where he says, “Thomas disregarded my commands, while continuing to walk southbound, into the traffic lane and around a parked vehicle. I noted Thomas’s response to the event to be unusual and extremely confrontational given the simple and basic request for compliance.” Makes no sense, walking away is NOT “extremely confrontational” is it:

Full narrative of police reportOn 10/12/16 at approximately 11:46, I, Lieutenant T. Olson was on duty, in the City of Edina, dressed in plain clothes and driving an unmarked police vehicle. I was driving northbound on Xerxes at west 60th Street. I observed ahead of me, a man, later identified as the defendant, Larnie Thomas, walking southbound on Xerxes in the southbound lane of traffic. I observed there was a new sidewalk on the west side of Xerxes which, with the exception of cut-ins for private property connections to the trunk sidewalk, appeared to be completed. I also observed a paved shoulder, approximately 8-feet wide, on the west side of Xerxes and a sidewalk on the east side of the street. As I drove north in the direction of Thomas, I observed he continued to walk southbound, approximately 1/3 the way into the southbound traffic lane of Xerxes. I observed Thomas`s actions were obstructing southbound vehicular traffic as vehicles slowed to a walking pace while stacking up behind Thomas.

As I neared Thomas, I observed he was wearing headphones over his ears. I watched as several vehicles crossed over the double painted yellow line, into the northbound lane in attempt to drive around Thomas. I observed Thomas look in the direction of the vehicles as they passed him. I observed Thomas move slightly to the right of the traffic lane, then move back to his position in the roadway. Based on these observations, it appeared likely Thomas should have been aware he was in the roadway and causing an obstruction to vehicular traffic. I am aware that Xerxes Ave is a highly traveled feeder street. I believed Thomas was creating a risk to his safety and the others and it was prudent to advise him to get out of the road. I drove north, past Thomas a distance, activated my emergency lights and conducted a U-turn. As I neared Thomas, aware he was wearing headphones,I tapped my squad siren. Thomas didn’t respond.

As I approached closer I again tapped my siren. This time Thomas turned, looked at me, turned back around and continued walking south in the lane of traffic. I again tapped my siren, to which Thomas did not turn, but continued his walk.

I drove around Thomas to a position approximately 15 feet in front of him. I turned and canted my squad to the right in a manner to block Thomas from continuing south in the traffic lane. Thomas walked up to and around the passenger`s side of my squad. Thomas looked at me as he passed, walked south around my squad, back onto the lane of traffic and continued south.

I exited my squad and identified myself as a police officer. I instructed Thomas to get out of the traffic lane. Thomas did not comply and began shouting at me. I again identified myself as a police officer, this time drawing attention to my police badge carried on my left side belt. I provided Thomas multiple instructions including phrases to the effect of; get out of the road, stop and return to me. Thomas disregarded my commands, while continuing to walk southbound, into the traffic lane and around a parked vehicle. I noted Thomas’s response to the event to be unusual and extremely confrontational given the simple and basic request for compliance. I followed after Thomas and continued to instruct him to stop. Thomas did not comply with any of my directives.

I reached Thomas, who had now walked approximately 60` from my original stop location, and grasped his shoulder. As I made contact with Thomas, I could smell the odor of a consumed alcoholic beverage. Thomas began to struggle against my grasp, shout and use profane language. I instructed Thomas to return to my squad.With my grasp on Thomas’s shoulder, I escorted him back to my squad. Thomas continued to struggle and attempt to break free of my grasp. As I reached my squad, Thomas slammed a back-pack he was carrying onto the hood of the squad. I radioed dispatch for assistance.

While waiting for back-up to arrive, Thomas continued struggle against my grasp and began to use very loud and profane language (Fuck, Bull Shit and Shit). I observed several people begin to gather in observation of the event. I observed individuals who appeared to have emerged from their street front homes and an individual who appeared to be filming the event. Thomas`s behavior became more volatile as he spun away from me, removed his shirt and appeared to take an offense stance towards me. I did not attempt to physically engage Thomas further.

Officer Boerger arrived on scene. Thomas was advised he was under arrest and handcuffed without further incident. Officer Piper arrived and Thomas was placed in the rear of her squad. Officer Boerger administered an alcohol breath test (PBT #8) and advised me Thomas`s results were .017.

Thomas was issued a citation (270616213232, MN 169.21, 169.02, 609.72), and, per his request, transported to Southdale Mall where he was released.


Here’s what the City of Edina released yesterday:

City of Edina, MN (Local Government)
20 hrs ·

A video of one of our police officers is circulating online. This incident started several minutes prior to the recording. During that time, our police officer observed a man walking southbound on Xerxes Avenue at West 60th Street in the southbound lane of traffic, though there is a sidewalk on the east side and a sidewalk under construction and a paved shoulder on the west side of the street. Recognizing the risk to the safety of the public, the officer pulled in behind the man with his lights and an audible signal in an attempt to advise him to get out of the roadway. The man, who was wearing headphones, turned and looked at the officer and continued walking in the lane of traffic. The officer then drove in front of the man by approximately 15 feet, to block him from continuing in the southbound lane of traffic. The man deliberately went around the squad car and continued to walk in the lane of traffic. The officer got out of his vehicle and started to follow the man, asking him to get out of the lane of traffic and stop. The man did not stop and was defiant. It was after that point that the recording began. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath during the incident. A breathalyzer later confirmed the presence of alcohol.

As a bystander, it’s your right to film officer interactions. However, it’s important to note that attempting to interact with the officer and/or suspect creates a greater risk to the safety of the officer, suspect and bystanders. Public safety is our first priority. It makes it more difficult for officers to deal with the situation on hand when they are at the same time dealing with the distractions of bystanders.

For more information about this incident, contact the Edina Police Department at 952-826-1610.



Looks like Scott Neal is already trying to rein in (reign in?) the people of Edina.  He’s just started as City Manager there after going to Eden Prairie after Northfield.  His suggestion?  Have the public comments to the City Council AFTER the meeting and OFF CAMERA and that would also be OFF THE RECORD because I doubt they’ve got a court reporter there…  Scott, this is NOT a good idea, because in many ways, Edina is doing a good job of running the city, they’re a first ring suburb with little land available, and have done a good job with their Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  What’s made that happen is the vigorous and “robust” (sorry, borrowing that from Xcel) open public debate about issues and permits.  The attempt to quash that is a major gaffe.  No, Scott, NO!

In Edina, they like to speak their mind, and on TV

And Scott writes about it on his Edina blog:

Public Comment

The comments on his blog are off!  Oh, come on now… you can have it on, and moderate!

And then there’s his suggestion that they say the Pledge of Allegiance before the meetings.  As an Officer of the Court sworn to uphold the Constitution, and fighting every day for our fundamental rights, until we have “liberty and justice for all” it’s a farce…