ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul police are taking over a Minneapolis police investigation into a melee that broke out at a DFL party caucus earlier this month, the Minneapolis mayor's office said Friday.
Mayor Betsy Hodges asked Police Chief Janee Harteau to transfer the investigation to avoid any perception of potential conflict of interest.
"Over the past few weeks, I have been disturbed by the allegations of violence and intimidation that happened at the Cedar-Riverside caucus," Hodges said in a news release. "It is imperative to all that we make sure there is not an ounce of question about the impartiality of this investigation."
At least one woman, Minneapolis City Council aide Ilhan Omar, was injured in the scuffle at the Brian Coyle Community Center on Feb. 4, Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1dcoeLu ) reported.
The caucus had drawn a capacity crowd because of a challenge to longtime DFL state Rep. Phyllis Kahn. Many showed up to support Minneapolis School Board member Mohamud Noor.
A noisy argument over who would lead the meeting quickly turned to chaos, then a fight with people rushing the podium. Police ordered the crowd to disperse 45 minutes after the caucus began.
The caucus reconvened Wednesday at the University of Minnesota's Coffman Union, with Noor winning more convention delegates than Kahn. Noor will send 28 delegates to the Senate District 60 convention April 5, while Kahn will have 15 delegates. Delegates at that meeting will have an opportunity to bestow the DFL party's endorsement.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org