Mayor Frey on confronting Republican state rep: ‘I’m not going to back down from a little banter'

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Republican State Rep. Matt Grossell had a tense exchange following a press conference Monday.

The Chad Hartman Show
February 17, 2020 - 2:51 pm
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

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Fresh off a tense exchange at the State Capitol where House Republicans introduced public safety bills Monday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey joined News Talk 830 WCCO host Chad Hartman to discuss what happened.

“They aren't trying to reach out to the local officials. They aren't trying to reach out to the police chiefs. They just want to have a press conference, get on the evening news, and hopefully things work out well in the ballot box,” Frey said.

House Republicans said their legislation was designed to improve safety on the light rail. One of the proposed bills would increase sworn officers for Metro Transit Police and install interactive cameras on light rail platforms.

“Keeping Minnesotans safe is literally the most important thing that we can do in government,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt told reporters at the press conference unveiling the bills. “Making sure that they have an efficient, well-cared for transportation system, roads and bridges and transit is a basic core function of state government.”

The series of bills also included a proposal by Republican Rep. Matt Grossell to prevent Minnesota cities from disarming police officers, an idea he has been advocating for since last year. Frey confronted Grossell following the press conference, and their exchange was captured by KARE 11 reporter John Croman.

Frey told Hartman how it started.

“I think he randomly yelled something at me. I don't even remember precisely what it was, and you know, I'm not gonna back down from a little banter. And I just pointed out that, you should tell the truth. People deserve transparency and the voters deserve the facts. And he didn't like that very much.”

Representative Grossell's office issued a statement in response, criticizing Frey and the city for not meeting a request from Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for 400 additional officers. “It's time city leaders stop ignoring the rise in violent crime in our cities and to begin to address the issue,” it read.

Frey said the claims made by the Republicans that Minneapolis hadn’t added any officesr in the last budget were untrue, as the the city went from adding two cadet classes a year to three. FBI data shows violent crime has decreased overall in the metro area, and nationally, for a decade.

“Chad, I've come on your radio show before and I've advocated for additional police officers. When I was running for mayor. I advocated for police officers after I was mayor. We advocated for police officers in this last budget and we were able to strike a deal that did just that,” he said. 

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