Police Chief Letter 4.12.21
12 Apr 2021
Yesterday, a man was shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer, a heartbreaking tragedy.
Last night and early this morning, protesters gathered near the scene to make their voices heard. Many were peaceful in expressing their outrage. Unfortunately, some of the activity devolved into dangerous and destructive behavior—some of which popped up here in Saint Paul.
We had seven businesses burglarized and/or damaged, including three on University Avenue and one each on Marshall, Payne, Arcade and Sherwood. Thankfully, our patrol officers were able to respond quickly and contain the illegal activity. Four people—three adults and one juvenile—were arrested for burglary.
I want you to know that your police department stands ready to do its part to keep our city safe and support those who choose to peacefully express themselves. Early this morning, we made the decision to recall all available officers.
Now, we have a schedule that involves every officer as part of our expanded efforts to protect people, property, businesses and free speech.
Today and for the foreseeable future, you’ll likely notice more squads patrolling neighborhoods—especially those that are home to businesses most at risk during times of unrest. Some of the other things we’re doing may not be as noticeable but rest assured that we’re out there.
You may also see members of the Minnesota National Guard working to protect our city. In addition, we have mutual aid agreements with many nearby agencies, whose first responders are available to help keep the peace.
And while I can’t guarantee that there won’t be any illegal activity in response to yesterday’s incident, I can tell you that the SPPD, its officers and our partners have been planning and training for months to ensure we’re as prepared as possible to keep our city’s neighborhoods safe. Officers have cancelled vacations and days off. They’ve put their personal lives on hold. And they’ve trained with our partners at St. Paul Fire to ensure we can quickly reach people and properties in need.
In addition, Mayor Carter has announced a curfew for the City of Saint Paul effective 7 p.m. Monday April 12th, through 6 a.m. Tuesday April 13th.
Hopefully, we will have a peaceful night in our city. If you see something concerning or need emergency assistance, please don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately.
Thank you for helping us keep the city safe.
Chief Todd Axtell