Created: 02/18/2014 11:04 PM WDIO.com
By: Todd Wilson, KSTP
On the last home game for the Minnesota Vikings this season a Minneapolis officer showed up at the gate with a ticket for the event. It was the last game played at the Metrodome and the Vikings won vs. the Lions. The officer was carrying a gun.
"He was denied entrance to the facility and he was forced to go out and lock his loaded firearm in a vehicle," Executive Director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Dennis Flaherty said.
Flaherty's group and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis are suing the NFL over a policy that prohibits off-duty officers from bringing their weapons into an NFL stadium.
The NFL’s Firearms and Weapons Policy was enacted in September 2013 and says that firearms are strictly prohibited within NFL facilities. The only exception is for officers operating within their jurisdiction and specifically assigned to work an NFL event.
Attorneys for the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis filed the lawsuit, claiming the new policy violates the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act of 2003.
Attorneys argue that many off-duty officers keep their concealed weapons with them so they can respond to an incident or intervene during crimes if they come up, meaning they can “protect the public at a moment’s notice.”
The attorneys also argue that officers often have personal threats against them and their families because of their role in prosecuting criminals and that having a concealed weapon gives them a certain level of security.
WDIO's sister station, KSTP, made six calls to the NFL for a statement. So far the NFL has not responded. However, the Vikings did send an email, saying for now the team will defer to the NFL.
Flaherty says, this suit is all about public safety as well as the officers' personal safety. "There are a number of crimes that do take place at a sporting event and the NFL is no exception to that," he said.
According to Flaherty, TCF Bank Stadium also bans all people including off-duty police from carrying weapons.
Police Cruiser Torched Outside Ferguson City Hall, Protesters Ordered off Streets
Authorities in Ferguson have responded quickly after a police car was set on fire outside Ferguson city hall.
Peaceful Ferguson Protests Hit the Northland
While chaos ensues in Ferguson, Missouri Tuesday, peaceful protestors in the Northland were asking for change both in Ferguson and closer to home.
Citizens Voice Concerns over Policing in Open Forum
Duluth community members voiced their concerns Tuesday night with local police at a Citizen Review Board forum, as the Duluth Police Department strives to maintain a good relationship with the community. Events in Ferguson, Missouri have brought into focus issues of excessive police force and profiling across the country
Person Struck by Car at Minneapolis Rally
A rally in Minneapolis over the events of Ferguson turned scary when a car hit a pedestrian. A police spokesperson says the woman suffered minor injuries.
UMD's NRRI Minerals Lab: Testing Technology for the Future
The scientists at UMD's NRRI Mineral Lab in Coleraine are working with technology called WHIMS, to see if they can use ore that now is considered waste rock by the mines.