FREE SPEECH ZONE | With deafening silence, City Council fails to reappoint Dave Bicking to Civilian Police Review Board (CRA)


Original article from Twin Cities Indy Media
Submitted by smiley on Fri, 04/02/2010 – 12:06

Despite widespread community support and a history of fighting for better police accountability, Dave Bicking failed to be reappointed to the CRA at the April 2nd City Council meeting.  Dave Bicking was seeking a 4-year term to the board that deals with issues of police accountability and investigates complaints against the Minneapolis Police Department. For his dedicated work, Bicking has the support from over 314 community members who signed a petition online or offline. 

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 1st, the council listed four names for recommendation for the open spots: Arlene Santiago, Dean Kallenbach, Pramma Elayaperumal, and Mary Pargo. These candidates included two of Mayor Rybak’s pre-emptive choices. Dave Bicking was absent from this list along with other qualified candidates who also applied for the open positions.

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Previous Coverage: City documents show Mayor Rybak made CRA decisions before public hearing

When it came time for the vote at the City Council meeting, Don Samuels, Chair of the Public Safety and Health Committee, read the list of the four recommended candidates and gave a short speech on the “fair and balanced” qualities of the city council’s choice, Mary Pargo. He then asked the council to vote for this slate. Before that the final vote, Cam Gordon, Ward 2 City councilperson, raised a substitute motion asking that the city council to consider Dave Bicking for their choice. However, in order for the motion to be even considered, another city council member would need to second it. Despite the fact that all 13 members were present, the other 12 remaining DFL council members remained absolutely silent. Not one other council member – Kevin Reich, Diane Hofstede, Barb Johnson, Don Samuels, Robert Lillgren, Lisa Goodman, Elizabeth Glidden, Gary Schiff, Meg Tuthill, John Quincy, Sandra Colvin-Roy, or Betsy Hodges allowed for any discussion on the motion.   The slate of recommended CRA candidates for the CRA passed with a 12-1 with only Gordon voting against it.  It is not very common to see the city council fail to “second” a simple motion for consideration and open discussion. It’s completely outrageous that city hall managed once again to brush aside the concerns about our notorious out-of control police departmentWhat’s next? The next public CRA meeting is scheduled for April 7th at 6:30 p.m. in Room 333 at City Hall. It’s time to let the new board know that the community is not going away quietly – regardless of whom they are “appointing” to lead us. Unlike the regular dull city committee meetings, this is one that you will not want to miss!