Minister says black police officers need to take a stand against racist Christmas tree

"If you can’t protect us over a Christmas tree, you can’t protect us on the streets of Minneapolis"

Sheletta Brundidge
December 02, 2018 - 4:00 am

A north Minneapolis minister is denouncing African-American officers in the Minneapolis Police Department for not taking a clearer stand against the racist decoration of a Christmas tree in the Fourth Precinct.

Two officers assigned to Fourth Precinct in north Minneapolis, a predominately African-American neighborhood, are on leave pending an investigation, after they used used malt liquor bottles, a pack of Newport cigarettes, and Popeye's Chicken memorabilia to adorn a holiday tree. A photo went viral on social media and was quickly denounced by the mayor and police chief. 

Minneapolis minister Reverend Albert Gallmon, Jr., senior pastor of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, is more angry at the black officers for their silence. He spoke to WCCO Radio's Sheletta Brundidge, and her conversation partner Lindy Vincenthosts of the Two Haute Mamas podcast, about the issue. 

"I am outraged that there is no outrage coming from the black police officers. I don’t hear it." Gallmon said. "I think our black officers are winking or laughing and that’s appalling."

The minister said he's not sure if the black officers are afraid of the union, but their silence is telling.

"Right now it should not be the community that’s outraged. It should be the black police officers of Minneapolis who are outraged. And then the people of the community will support them in their outrage. I have not heard a word. That’s more sickening to me than the act of decorating the tree."

But Rev. Gallmon says the black officers in the precinct should not have allowed this incident to happen. 

"The African-American officers should have taken care of this.  If our officers on the police force are not going to keep each other in check, then none of us are safe."

The mega-church pastor says he hopes his message serves as an opportunity to educate black officers about what he sees as their obligation to people in the Fourth Precinct.

"Somehow we have to get them to understand that their power on the force protects us. If they are going to go along to get along, then none of us are safe. They are not being responsible with what God has given them, which is our protection. If you can’t protect us over a Christmas tree, you can’t protect us on the streets of Minneapolis."

Check out the full interview: