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Mpls. new safety commissioner Cedric Alexander says he regrets "tone" of heated Twitter exchanges

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis’ new community safety commissioner Cedric Alexander had tense Twitter exchanges with multiple people Thursday night, which he later said “did not meet the standards” expected of him. 

Many of the exchanges appeared to be over criticism of the “Operation Endeavor” plan from Alexander and city leaders. Mayor Jacob Frey said it’s a comprehensive approach to public safety and it will coordinate city services – from police to prosecutors to violence prevention groups – and crack down on crime.

In one instance, a Twitter user, Amity Foster, asks about multiple police vehicles parked downtown along Nicollet Mall, noting that nine of the squads were empty.

RELATED: Mayor Frey, Dr. Cedric Alexander launch “Operation Endeavor” to reduce crime in Minneapolis

“It shows an effort to increase police visibility throughout downtown and across the city if you didn’t see them you would complain about that wouldn’t you. Enough of the two faced talking from both sides of your mouth already,” Alexander responded in a tweet.

The Twitter user said Alexander is taking a lot of criticism about Operation Endeavor.

“Actually you’re wrong again. I’m not taking any criticism on operation endeavor quite the opposite…ask the residents in north Minneapolis in which I bet you don’t live there,” Alexander responded. 

Another Twitter user said that Alexander is “just one more cop” that the mayor can’t control.

“Slavery is over,” Alexander responded. “No one controls anyone anymore… sorry.”

Alexander released a statement Friday, addressing the tweets. 

“The way I engaged with constituents last night on Twitter did not meet the standards I hold for myself and the Office of Community Safety team,” he said. “I care deeply about the success of our community safety work in Minneapolis, and I know building trust happens one interaction at a time. I regret the tone of my responses, and I’m committed to respectful, constructive engagement with the communities we serve.”

Frey also released a statement, saying he spoke with the commissioner Thursday evening and appreciates Alexander’s “prompt response today to the community and members of the media.”

The city’s communications department says it has not made any determinations yet if Alexander’s tweets violated city social media policy. 

In a one-on-one interview with WCCO in July, Alexander said he knows building trust is a big priority and that must be done, one person at a time.

“They want police in their communities. They want them up and down Broadway. They want them on the streets, in their neighborhoods. But people want good police. They want honest police. They want constitutional policing. They want respectful policing, and they deserve that, and they are going to get that,” Alexander said.

Alexander was sworn in as the city’s first-ever commissioner of community safety in early August. 

Source: CBS Minnesota

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