Two weeks after controversy over a shirt referencing the Minneapolis Police Department, the department commander who posted it to Facebook has been reassigned and effectively demoted.
Kim Lund Voss made the announcement on her Facebook page, the same place she'd seen fit to share (albeit briefly) the image of a shirt that contained an incorrectly spelled word and an unofficial motto quickly judged offensive toward crime victims. She says the shirt was not created by the department, but by a "prviate businessman" as part of a fundraiser.
Lund Voss, a department veteran of more than three decades, wrote she will join the Third Precinct in south Minneapolis as a lieutenant and head of its property crimes division, a demotion from her rank of commander in charge of the city's juvenile division. The Star Tribune confirmed Lund Voss's new position with the department, where a spokesman called it an "HR issue."
In sharing she'd been reassigned, Lund Voss also vehemently denied a claim that surfaced around the same time she came under criticism for the shirt: that she'd used a racial slur against another officer.
Lund Voss removed her original post, which ostensibly was meant to highlight a typo -- "HOMOCIDE," instead of "homicide" -- and apologized, saying she'd only meant "to show that misprints commonly occurred back in the days prior to spellcheck."
On Sunday, she apologized again.
"I didn’t mean the post as offense to anyone," Lund Voss wrote. "I love everybody and I’m stuck trying to heal a pain for those that do not know me, my family or my heart. All I can say is, I’m sorry for that."
The Strib reports Lund Voss's apparent punishment comes after a meeting between Minneapolis Police Department chief Medaria Arradondo -- who condemned the shirt as one that does "not reflect the [department's] values and transformational culture" -- and Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP.
It was Redmond who'd helped publicize Lund Voss's post, while adding the allegation that Lund Voss "has a past that includes calling a fellow officer the N word."
On Facebook, Lund Voss wrote that she is a "member of a mixed-race family," and "would have it no other way," then took on the allegation directly:
"It’s also important that I make this very clear, I have never used the 'N Word' to describe or address anyone in my life, ever, especially not one of my brothers or sisters in blue! That is a lie! I will protest. I will not tolerate this type of besmirchment [sic] as I also have the duty to call it as it is. The words a few have used to describe are not true. It’s not me. Not my family. Not my department. Not ever. Not on my watch."
Lund Voss also addressed concerns from the "LGBTQ community" that the misspelling "homocide" was intentional. "I'm sorry, the guy that made the shirt just didn't know how to spell."
In an aside, Lund Voss wrote that her daughter had served in the Peace Corps, and that her son is an accomplished musician, adding: "We celebrate the musical greats together, from Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and of course Notorious B.I.G. I loved what Sean Combs (P-Diddy) did with Herb Albert and the Tijuana brass song 'RISE.'"