City Councilmember Ralph Remington (10th Ward) said Nov. 21 that he fears for his safety after four members of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis allegedly threatened him at an October meeting at Gigi's Caf.
The councilmember scheduled a press conference last month to make his concerns public. Upset members of the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC) attended the conference in support of him.
Remington's meeting at Gigi's, a coffee shop and restaurant at 36th Street and Aldrich Avenue, took place days after the City Council's approval of Tim Dolan's appointment as police chief, approval of a reform agenda for the department and passage of a resolution calling for changes to the Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA).
Remington said he set up the meeting, which was supposed to only be with union leader Sgt. John Delmonico to talk about moving forward after the council's recent actions. Delmonico arrived with Lt. Bob Kroll and officers Dan Ungurian and Lyall Delaney. Remington said the group took issue with the CRA changes and the reform agenda's proposal of dividing managers and officers in the union.
Remington said he felt intimidated and the tone of the meeting was “loud and hostile.”
“Voices were raised, fingers were pointed, people were screaming,” he said.
Remington said Delaney threatened to “remove” him if he didn't cooperate with the federation. The officer later said, “we won't endorse you,” according to Remington, but the councilmember said it felt like a physical threat.
Delmonico said Delaney told Remington the federation would work to take him out of office if the council member didn't work with the federation's members. He said the other officers attended the meeting because they had issues to discuss with Remington, not because they wanted to intimidate him. Delmonico said he offered to reschedule, but Remington declined.
Some arguing took place at the meeting, but everyone left shaking hands, Delmonico said. He contradicted Remington's statement about friction over the CRA changes and said the federation has always been willing to work with the City Council on improvements to that organization.
The federation endorsed Remington when he was running for office, but Delmonico said the union would not tolerate the councilmember's recent accusations.
“We will be coming out against Ralph Remington,” he said.
PCRC Co-chairman Ron Edwards said the organization was seeking a federal investigation into the incident. Remington, who said he'll be “looking over his shoulder,” said he planned to discuss his encounter with Council President Barbara Johnson. Remington said he is not against the Police Department as a whole and believes the city needs more officers.