Mayor's Statement on Lollie Arrest

Mayor Coleman’s Statement on Arrest of Christopher Lollie

SAINT PAUL – Mayor Chris Coleman today released the following statement in response to the January 31, 2014 arrest of Christopher Lollie by the Saint Paul Police Department:

“In the last several days, a video of an arrest of an African-American man has led some to question the tactics and reputation of the Saint Paul Police Department. While the incident occurred over eight months ago, the video raises a great deal of concern, especially given this summer’s shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

“It is important to know all the facts of this case prior to reaching any conclusions. In the City of Saint Paul, the Police-Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission (PCIARC) exists for such purposes. In addition, the mission of PCIARC is to establish and build trust between the police department and the community. Therefore, I am requesting that a full review be conducted by PCIARC of this matter. Normally, these reviews are conducted pursuant to a complaint filed by an individual. However, I believe this matter should receive such a review regardless of a formal complaint being filed.

“I have also reached out to leadership in the African-American community to discuss this incident. There will be a formal meeting on Monday with the NAACP, the African American Leadership Council, and the Saint Paul Black Ministerial Alliance and the leadership in the Saint Paul Police Department. I hope we can have a candid conversation about this particular incident – but, more importantly, I hope that we can build upon the long-standing relationships that exist, and map out further work that we can do to continue to build trust between our community and the Police.

“The Saint Paul Police Department has a strong reputation as one of the finest departments in the country. The department, led by Chief Thomas Smith, has worked particularly hard at building relations with communities of color in our city by working with leadership in the NAACP, directly participating in racial equity work and community outreach programs, and recruiting officers that reflect the diversity of Saint Paul.

“As Mayor of this City, I know how important it is that when the Police say they are there to protect and serve, our residents know this means to protect and serve all, equally, without regard to race. Whenever this is questioned, it is critical that we do what we can to build and maintain that trust. We will work directly with community leaders to do that as the PCIARC reviews the incident of January 31, 2014.”