Two Minneapolis Police Officers Relieved of Duty Pending Investigation
Two long-standing Minneapolis police officers have been relieved of duty pending the results of a FBI investigation.
Lt. Lee Edwards and officer Mike Roberts have been put on paid administrative leave due to the current investigation. Roberts is a veteran officer who has been on the force nearly three decades. Edwards is one of five black officers suing the police department over allegations of racial discrimination, reported the Star Tribune.
The details of the investigation are unknown, but sources say an investigation has been going on since last year, reported WCCO News.
Lt. Lee Edwards was told of the investigation Friday night and told WCCO Saturday morning, "I did nothing wrong."
Edwards had been the head of the fourth precinct. Before that, he was the head of homicide. He was demoted from the position last year after being accused of drinking before driving his police car and making inappropriate sexual comments. Edwards was eventually cleared of the drinking charge. He is currently one of three finalists for the Northfield police chief job.
Roberts allegedly received $200 for giving information to an undercover informant, according to sources with knowledge of the case, reported the Star Tribune. The allegations against Edwards are still unclear.
On Thursday Roberts was sent to deliver a package to FBI headquarters where he was then taken by investigators and questioned.
Andrew Muller, a lawyer representing Edwards in the racial discrimination suit, said the current allegations are baseless. There is no connection between Edwards and Roberts, he said.
"The intent of the allegations against Lt. Edwards can only be to punish and intimidate those on the MPD who speak out against discrimination," Muller said. "Mayor Rybak seems content to let Chief Dolan run roughshod, and to let him do as he pleases, without concern for how it will impact the city and race relations within its departments."
Special Agent Paul McCabe said he will not confirm or deny a FBI investigation of two Minneapolis officers, reported WCCO News. It is standard FBI policy not to comment.