Minneapolis Park Board kicks out Minnesota State Patrol, will not allow officers to use board headquarters

Under an agreement formed in 2012 and maintained since then, the Minneapolis Park Board allowed Minnesota State Patrol officers to use space in Minneapolis as a rest area or a spot to take lunch breaks.

Minnesota State Patrol/Facebook

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted Wednesday to kick the Minnesota State Patrol out of the board’s headquarters building.

Under an agreement formed in 2012 and maintained since then, the Minneapolis Park Board allowed Minnesota State Patrol officers to use space at 2117 West River Road North in Minneapolis as a rest area or a spot to take lunch breaks.

Now, the Park Board has “terminated” that agreement and will no longer allow State Patrol officers to use the space. Their resolution eliminates “any and all sharing agreements” with State Patrol at the Park Board’s headquarters.

Some Park Board commissioners believe that State Patrol officers played a key role in suppressing last week’s protests over police brutality, as reported by the Star Tribune.

Park Board Commissioner Londel French claimed State Patrol has been at the center of “stifling” protesters, which is why he wrote the resolution to end the agreement that would have extended through January 2022.

The agreement with the Park Board “amounts to a docking station in a cubicle,” said Lt. Gordon Shank, a spokesperson for the State Patrol, according to the Star Tribune.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, called this decision by the Park Board “totally unacceptable.”

“While I’m not surprised the continual degradation of our law enforcement has led to this, it is nonetheless incredibly disappointing,” Gazelka said in a statement.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, also spoke out against the Park Board’s decision to kick out the State Patrol, calling for Gov. Tim Walz to “stand up to this insanity.”

“The disrespect being shown to the men and women in law enforcement and the National Guard who have kept the Twin Cities safe over the past two weeks is outrageous,” Daudt said in a statement on Facebook. “They should immediately reverse this foolish and offensive decision.”

The Park Board passed the resolution on a 5-4 vote.

Some commissioners viewed the move as “political grandstanding” and objected in order to maintain the Park Board’s relationship with the State Patrol, according to Commissioner Letrisha Vetaw.