Minneapolis inspector’s statements mischaracterize riot

I would like to respond to statements made by Minneapolis police Inspector Richard Stanek to the media regarding the riots that occurred after the University’s men’s hockey team’s April 6 victory.

Inspector Stanek made several statements to the media that were inaccurate and lacked forethought. I will only touch on a few of them. First, I must state I’m a University police sergeant with 14 years of service.

In all my years of service, University and Minneapolis police patrol officers have always shared an excellent working relationship. Patrol officers from both departments, especially in the 2nd Precinct district, have always backed up one another on traffic stops and various other calls for police service.

This is a tremendous benefit to both police departments, especially to the surrounding University and Minneapolis communities. We are living in a time of budget cuts and resources stretched to the limit.

I can recall countless times University officers have responded to Minneapolis calls for police service because Minneapolis squads were on other calls, or University squads were closer to respond. One must remember that the people we are servicing are members of the University and Minneapolis community who are requesting police service.

Inspector Stanek made various comments suggesting the riots and celebration were a University event that was not sponsored by the city of Minneapolis. Thus, the University should be billed for damages to Minneapolis squads and the extra cost of their additional officers called in to handle the riots.

Inspector Stanek also stated University police were not prepared to handle such an incident. He goes on to state that the people arrested Saturday night were University students.

I hope Inspector Stanek does not truly believe the University would sponsor an event of rioting and criminal conduct. In fact, the only celebratory event sponsored by the University was Sunday afternoon at Mariucci Arena. I wish to point out to Inspector Stanek that the locations of the disturbances, Dinkytown and fraternity row, are technically speaking within the jurisdictional responsibility of the Minneapolis Police Department.

I’m still trying to understand Inspector Stanek’s rationale behind his comments stating the people we arrested Saturday night were University students, and that the event centered around a University event.

The championship hockey game was played in downtown St. Paul at the Xcel Center. There were thousands of Gophers hockey fans and University students attending the game. The St. Paul Police Department added extra officers for this University championship game.

If Gophers fans and University students had been involved in rioting or criminal conduct after the championship game in downtown St. Paul, then the St. Paul Police Department would have handled it because it was in their respective jurisdiction. I do not believe that if rioting and criminal conduct had occurred in downtown St. Paul, the St. Paul Police Department would be assessing damages to the University.

The University is not responsible for the actions or conduct of its students just because they are attending college here. It only takes the actions of a few to tarnish what was a magnificent accomplishment by the Gophers men’s hockey team.

In closing, I wish to point out to Inspector Stanek that University officers were also on the skirmish line with Minneapolis officers. University property and squad cars were also damaged Saturday night.

It is my hope Inspector Stanek will give a little more forethought before making statements that are totally inaccurate and misleading.

Octavio Reyes is a sergeant at the University Police Department. Send comments to
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