Faribault Council Member Upset About Sunday Curfew
Faribault City Council Member Elizabeth Cap voiced her frustration at a Joint Committee meeting of the Council last night over the curfew imposed Sunday night.
Cap called it, "A showboat move to keep people in their homes and take away their freedom to assemble and their freedom to live. Giving an excuse to police to intervene with anybody that's on their street after 8:00 p.m. during the summer when it's daylight hours. I just, this is such a challenging situation. Saturday night there was a peaceful assembly. I didn't participate but because I saw barricades in front of my Faribault Police Department I got on my bike and went down there. What world am I living in?"
Cap added, "It wasn't Council's decision. It was the police department the police chief and I just don't agree with that one power for one person for the effect it has on our community. I'm really disappointed because we can do so much better. We don't need a curfew. If there's something happening, this town is small enough and with how many police officers on our police force. You can figure out pretty quickly if something's going on and take care of it."
Cap went on to say, "There's a reason my name is not on the ballot. I'm not running anymore this is the end of it, but I'm going to use my voice as long as I have it. Maybe think about the other side of that pancake and the choices that you make. How is this gonna effect other people. This was just a showboat move on it. I don't know why Northfield, a community that has two liberal arts colleges were behind it, but the police are over militarized. The amount of our budget that we spend on safety is challenging in America and where our values are. These are real conversations we need to have because this is how change is made. You know we have the opportunity to make a greater impact on our community."
"We let our middle school and our elementary school, they're half people of color, so we've got to figure out how we can support each other."
Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen explained, "We had monitored multiple alleged threats that were coming from Mankato and Minneapolis. So we were concerned that we were going to have people cause problems. People who were out and about we had no action with them on Sunday night."
" That's why we made that decision to mirror the action by the counties to the north of us." Bohlen added Northfield made the decision because a portion of the city is in Dakota County where a curfew had been ordered.
"My people spent time up in Hennepin and Ramsey County and there were areas that were like war zones so we were concerned with the social media posts that this stuff was coming to Rice County. That's why we made the call."
Council Member Royal Ross was confused saying, "This wasn't Bohlen's call was it? This was a Mayor's proclamation wasn't it?"
Mayor Kevin Voracek responded, "That is correct. I got an email from Chief Bohlen and carbon copied over to Tim Murray and then Murray called me later in the day and said, 'Hey this is the chief's recommendation. What do you think?'
"I said, 'If the chief thinks it's a good idea we should probably do it because his force has been working multiple hours of overtime, so their all down and they're all looking for some support from the city.' "It was a Sunday night. Not a real heavy traffic night. I thought it was the right move to make."
Ross said he was, "Fine with you making that decision. I just wanted to find out if I had missed something because I thought it was your call. I'm fine with your following Chief Bohlen's recommendation."
Council Member Jonathan Wood stated, "No doubt the curfew was a tough call and I'm glad that Chief Bohlen made that call. The buck stops with him. I'm glad that Mayor you signed off on that. Ultimately it was the right move. With these situations it's better to be safe than sorry. Nobody wants to see anybody in our community so Chief Bohlen my hats off to you. To your entire staff, city staff and the Mayor."
Mayor Voracek added, "I always figure that staff is in this at least 40 hours a week and we aren't. So if staff believes something should be done, we should probably be listening to them versus, you know, doing what we think unless there's a large public outrcry beforehand. I was going to stand behind our chief."