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Police accused of racist demotions

Some black community, religious and educational leaders are calling disciplinary action against a black homicide detective the latest example of racial bias in the Minneapolis Police Department.
But The Star Tribune reports that the most recent incident, involving the transfer of “well-respected? black homicide detective Charlie Adams, appeared late Friday to possibly undergo reconsideration.
Adams, a 22-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, was transferred after he contradicted statements made by his commanding officer regarding the investigation into the killing of bicyclist Mark Loesch.
The Star Tribune said Adams was transferred to a less prominent unit Wednesday after multiple incidents of insubordination, with the latest contradictory comments being the “last straw,? according to Chief Tim Dolan.
Critics of the decision to transfer Adams to a less prominent section of the department call it a setback for relations between the police and community.
Activists Spike Moss and Ron Edwards voiced concern at a news conference at the Minneapolis Urban League about what they consider to be ongoing rights violations of black officers in the department. Edwards and others noted Dolan’s demotion of three other high-ranking black officers during his first year as chief.
Dolan, meanwhile, denies that personnel choices were motivated by race.
When Minnesota Public Radio asked Dolan about charges against him that he’s negatively affected relations between the black community and his department, he pointed out city figures stating that minority recruitment in the department is at an all time high.
Adams latest alleged act of insubordination occurred after homicide unit commander Lt. Amelia Huffman stated that one of the suspects in the killing told investigators that the victim was seeking out marijuana when he was killed.
Adams spoke out against her comment and said there was no evidence that the victim had been looking for drugs. He also apologized to Loesch’s family for the announcement made by Huffman.
Minnesota Public Radio was unable to reach Sgt. Adams for comment Friday afternoon but said community activists plan to hold a press conference next week with an update on Adams’ status with the police department.
Adams is scheduled to start his reassignment next week.

The Star Tribune:
http://www.startribune.com/10241/story/1584621.html

Minnesota Public Radio:
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/11/30/officersdemoted/