The Slatest

Minneapolis Mayor Responds Forcefully to Absurd “Gang Signs” Accusation


Screenshot via KSTP

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges became involved with one of the more ridiculous news stories of the year on Nov. 6 when local TV station KSTP ran a picture of her pointing at a constituent with a felony record and declared that her finger-point was “a known gang sign” that, according to a former police officer they interviewed, is “putting cops at risk.” (The resident who she was pointing at, Navell Gordon, doesn’t have any reported gang affiliations.) The story became known, facetiously, as Pointergate.

On Thursday Hodges responded to the flimsy accusation at length on her website, her message mixing bemusement (“I point a lot. Lots of people point”) with a more serious argument about the context of the KSTP story—she’s pushed for measures to improve relations between police and the community, and believes that Pointergate nonsense is being driven by opponents of her law-enforcement policies, including the head of the police union. (The reporter who filed the story has said that the union chief was one of the sources who sent him the photo.)

… my commitment to this work means that the head of the police union or other detractors will pitch more stories that attempt to defame that work and its leaders to various media outlets. So be it. I know the charge that I have been given by the people of Minneapolis and by my own conscience. I will continue to follow that charge.

One other important fact about Hodges from her website: Her favorite movie is Die Hard.