2 Minneapolis officers fired over racist holiday tree

Published 8:20 am Friday, August 9, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS — Two Minneapolis police officers who were suspended after decorating a station’s Christmas tree with racially offensive items have now been fired.

The department says Mark Bohnsack’s last day was last Thursday while Brandy Steberg’s was Monday.

They were put on leave in December after a photo surfaced on social media of the tree, which was decorated with items that invoked racist stereotypes, including a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen cup, a can of Steel Reserve malt liquor, police crime tape, a Newport cigarette pack and a bag of Takis.

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Community leaders including Mayor Jacob Frey condemned the decorations as offensive to the neighborhood, which is predominantly black. The precinct’s commander was demoted amid the uproar.

The president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, Lt. Bob Kroll, says the union will appeal the firings.