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Minneapolis police coins commemorate 'Riot 2020' and... Baby Yoda

Someone explain why Baby Yoda's a cop now.

Someone explain why Baby Yoda's a cop now. Twitter

There is probably no right way to commemorate a moment like the Minneapolis protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. There have been murals, memorials, protests, speeches, calls for peace, calls for action, neighborhood cleanup – the works.

That said, there are a few wrong ways.

And boy is this one of them.

This commemorative coin features a photo of officers, the slogans “A family of one” and “MPD Strong,” as well as the hashtag “#MplsRiot2020.”

Another photo of a coin featured the slogan “5th Precinct Dogwatch" (a term for the overnight policing shift) and "Hold the Line,” as well as, we shit you not, a cartoon of Baby Yoda wearing riot gear.

Commenters on the thread were not exactly impressed.

“I suppose ‘That Time We Killed A Citizen in Cold Blood 2020’ might be too wordy for a coin,” one supposed.

“I want to go back to a minute ago before I knew these existed,” another said.

The photos were pulled from a Facebook post by Minnesota House Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) from Thursday. In an open letter, he described a ride-along he took with the Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday, which happened to coincide with another round of unrest downtown and more police conflict with protesters. The inciting incident was a false rumor that a man who died by suicide had been shot by police. 

Nash said he was grateful officers and first responders were able to “quickly restore order and stop further destruction,” and that “we” (presumably the public) “need to stop jumping to the conclusion that law enforcement acted badly.”

“When you see your local police drive by, give them a wave. If you see one walking on patrol, give them a smile and a hello,” he wrote. “They have got a tough job, especially right now, and those warm interactions can help make a difference.”

The post included pictures of Nash standing with police officers and riding around in a squad car, as well as the two pictures of the coins featured in Wedge LIVE!’s tweet.

Nash was not available for interview requests on Tuesday.

Yesterday afternoon, before the unrest in Minneapolis took place, I went for a ride-along with the Minneapolis Police...

Posted by Representative Jim Nash on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said in a statement that the coin was “not designed, manufactured, or authorized by the MPD,” and that the department became aware of it a few days ago, and is “looking into its origin.”

As it turns out, a similar phenomenon is taking place over in Long Beach, where police have launched an internal investigation after finding a “challenge coin” with “2020 riots” and the department’s name online. It cost about $15 and featured a picture of a skull in a riot helmet and gas mask.

Department spokesperson Brandon Fahey told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that challenge coins are popular pieces of memorabilia with both law enforcement and the military – that they help boost morale and recognize good work.

The department said in a statement that it did not sanction this coin, and that its message was “derogatory.”