When Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) held a demonstration on October 2nd in Crystal and then spoke at the City Council open forum, I believed that we would be listened to and that the city would meet with the Ramirez family to discuss their concerns and learn the information that they possess, to move the city forward with a proper investigation of the matter. Being searched and evicted from your home with no warrant, remaining locked out and then having all of your personal possessions confiscated with no charges, and then after filing an investigation with the Crystal police department, having no investigation started is unacceptable. How would you feel if this happened in to you in your city and every time you asked about it, you kept getting no explanation? And that it was clear to you that no investigation has ever even been started against the Metro Gang Strike Force and the offending officer? This happened to the Ramirez family in Crystal 4 years ago.
While speaking at the open forum at city hall, about 20 members of the public (including myself) spoke about how terrible this police action was and how the family had filed a complaint with the Crystal Police Department a long time ago and never had the courtesy of anyone following through with it. When the family has gone back to the police department over and over to receive updates on the investigation, they were given no update, only handed the families original complaint they filed (that is an insult!). The Ramirez family had been trying to meet with Anne Norris, city manager of Crystal, for awhile. Originally she had said she would meet and was scheduling a time to meet. Then she sent them a message that she would not meet with them. That is why the demonstration went forward.
The city council said to us that they had only just heard of this matter 3 weeks before we appeared in front of them. They then went on to yell at all the people speaking to them at the forum and tell us how inappropriate it was for us to come there and talk about this matter (another insult!). Their pride is so great that they care more about not being confronted with an issue like this in public more than caring listening to the public and caring about a system that broke down and ignored justice. City employees knew of this matter for a long time. Why weren’t the council members angry at city employees who knew of this who didn’t bring it to their attention and stonewalled the investigation? Yelling at the people speaking out about this matter at a public forum only shows their open resentment and disrespect at the public. Some council members have come forward publicly stating that this is not understanding or using the proper channels of government. I don’t know what other channels there are when you file investigations, ask for updates over and over, and schedule meetings with the city manager and then she tells you that she will not meet with you. The council is clearly putting their own pride first and standing up for themselves over standing up for the rights of the people of Crystal. You can see the council meeting at this link (scroll down to open forum), read the Sun Post article about it at this link, and see what Community Solutions wrote about it at this link.
The city is still refusing to meet with the Ramirez family to this day.
I believe that the city council’s main function is to be concerned about the citizens of Crystal first and foremost. I would have never responded like that and would be happy to see that people in the community are using the open forum to bring issues to my attention, especially when all other communication has failed. I will always listen to you, and respect the public enough to treat them with dignity and civility. Something that is unfortunately lacking in our current city council.