A Minneapolis police officer who had been on paid leave for more than a year after sending out a racist email has now been promoted to lead the department’s homicide unit.
Aimee Linson, a 25-year-veteran of the force, was suspended in 2022 after a probe by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights found a pattern and practice of discriminatory policing by MPD.
During the investigation, it was uncovered that in 2012, Linson, then a sergeant, forwarded an email chain to at least eight colleagues with the subject line “Only in the Ghetto.”
The email, according to the Associated Press, contained 16 pictures, nearly half of which negatively portrayed Black people.
During the investigation, Linson said she didn’t remember sending the emails nearly 10 years ago.
But the investigation came shortly after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who Linson is replacing, was a key witness in the murder trial.
Linson was reinstated last year after a written reprimand was issued.
But her promotion has been met with backlash from community advocates, according to the Star Tribune.
“The city — and MPD specifically — is not in fact committed to the change that they claim to be embracing,” Kimberly Milliard, of the Racial Justice Network, told the local newspaper. “They’ve got consent decrees hanging over their heads and they’re still doing the same stuff that created the need for the consent decrees in the first place.”
On Wednesday, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara defended Linson’s promotion, calling her “the most qualified” in a statement to the Star Tribune.
“In addition to her ability to interact with individuals in the initial moments of grief after a homicide, she understands complex investigative processes and is well suited to provide leadership for those responsible for the crucial role of homicide investigations,” O’Hara said. “For me to do otherwise would be to underutilize her talents at a time when I am charged with leading the MPD with nearly 40% fewer sworn members.”
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Author: Ian Swanson