Minneapolis Mayor Accused of Flashing Gang Sign, Her Husband Shuts It Down With Hilarious Tweet

It was a blistering headline: Mpls. mayor flashes gang sign with convicted felon; law enforcement outraged

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The photo of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges posing with a young man during last week’s get out the vote efforts got the attention of a law enforcement official. He found it on the young man’s Facebook page while monitoring his social network activities and reached out to Minneapolis news station KSTP.

Investigative reporter Jay Kolls interviewed a retired Minneapolis police officer and the head of the Minneapolis police union about the picture. Both condemned Hodges for flashing what they said was a known gang sign in North Minneapolis, where the photo was taken.

With this information, KSTP ran this scathing news story, blasting the mayor for supposedly putting police officers in danger…

If the notion that a mayor would flash gang signs in a show of solidarity with gang members in her community seems crazy to you, you aren’t alone.

The #Pointergate hashtag quickly spread on Twitter as people pointed out the ridiculous assertion that the mayor would actually flash a gang sign.

It didn’t take long for people to point out that the photo was taken during get out the vote efforts Mayor Hodges was conducting with an organization called Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. In fact, Hodges wasn’t even the only public official present.

While Kolls had asserted that police were fuming…

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…joining the mayor that day and just off camera when that picture was taken was Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau, shown in another photo from that day on the left with Hodges and the young man…

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If reporter Jay Kolls had done even a tiny amount of research into why the mayor was there, he would have seen a video that tells the story of the work being done that day, and if he’d seen it, he would have found the section at 0:32-0:39 where the mayor and the young man have a moment where they awkwardly try to figure out how to pose for the picture…

Of course, then he wouldn’t have had much of a hit piece to run on the mayor. But it appears he didn’t do enough investigative research to know any of that, because he later responded to someone on Twitter questioning how they could even know what organization the young man was with…

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Incredibly, KSTP is continuing to defend the story, insisting it was worthy of the hype they gave it. They even assert that they knew the group the young man was associated with, despite Kolls’ tweet indicating he didn’t know that information.

For the Minneapolis Police Department’s part, they appear to be standing by their assertion that the mayor was wrong. Before KSTP’s story aired, the department had actually tweeted a photo of the police chief and mayor with the same young man who’s the subject of KSTP’s news story…

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A screenshot of that tweet was taken earlier today, which is fortunate because in a bizarre twist, a search of that same Minneapolis Police Department twitter account shows the tweet has since been deleted.

As the story is making the rounds, people are posting other pictures of well-known figures “flashing gang signs”…

Pointergate Tweet

But the best response to the whole debacle has come from Mayor Hodges’ husband Gary Cunningham, who tweeted this picture
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Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/minneapolis-mayor-accused-of-flashing-gang-sign-her-husband-shuts-it-down-with-hilarious-tweet/

3 responses to “Minneapolis Mayor Accused of Flashing Gang Sign, Her Husband Shuts It Down With Hilarious Tweet”

  1. Marc says:

    And thats why I don’t watch the news here… Well one reason anyway.

  2. Tom says:

    I really had to laugh at anchor Bill Lunn’s lead-in: “It’s a story you’ll see ONLY on 5!” Yeah, because the other local affiliates have the good sense to fact-check their stories before air…Reading some of the other sites that link from this story, it appears there may be more to the story than just crappy journalism; the police have a very poor relationship with the mayor (she has spoken out against alleged misconduct on the force and supports officers wearing “body cameras” to record what they do and say), so one must ask if it’s too far-fetched to suggest that the police may be driving this story. (Note that the police dept. scrubbed the photo of their Chief with the ‘felon’ from its Twitter feed…)

  3. Joel says:

    This wouldn’t be first police department to have a problem with an elected official reminding them who they work for.

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