Minneapolis police officer urges looting of Cedar-Riverside, arresting press

Minneapolis Police Officer David Peña wants Somali-American apartments sacked.

Minneapolis Police Officer David Peña wants Somali-American apartments sacked.

Update: MPD spokesman John Elder responded to City Pages on Saturday, saying, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This does not meet the mission, values, and goals of the Minneapolis Police Department. We have launched an internal investigation."

Minneapolis is still reeling from the death of George Floyd.

One of Minnesota’s most diverse business corridors lies in ashes, the behavior of local police is under intense scrutiny, and a growing list of institutions have cut ties to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Meanwhile, one officer seems to have been busy spouting off online.

Officer David Peña, who goes by "Dave Rock" on Facebook, is depicted in his Minneapolis Police Department uniform in numerous pictures on his publicly available profile, which was brought to City Pages' attention by a concerned community member.

In many posts, Peña makes reference to MPD or himself as a member of the police force. In one published last Friday, as unrest in the Twin Cities continued, Peña wrote: "Remember we asked for 800 more cops because we didn't have enough and we were denied!!!!!"

Earlier that day, in a possible reference to the (apparently overblown) story of a data breach of MPD officers' information, Peña wrote:

"FYI all our personal info was leaked by someone in the department. Word is that protesters are going to our houses. Lock and load!!!"

Other times, Peña posts his thoughts on policing generally. Though his page contains no clear mention of George Floyd's death, the posts are not subtle about thinking some killings are worthy of celebration. On May 8, he apparently shared a story about the shooting of Dreasjon "Sean" Reed by cops in Indianapolis and declared, "Good riddance!! One less thug!"

Last week, he joked that rioters who'd burned the 3rd Police Precinct on May 29 should take down Riverside Plaza next. These famous Cedar-Riverside high rises are mainly populated by Somali-American families.

Peña also enjoyed the arrests of CNN reporter Omar Jimenez and his camera crew on live TV, one of many incidents in which police targeted journalists as they documented use of force against protesters and neutral bystanders. (The American Civil Liberties Union is currently suing the Minneapolis Police Department for attacking and arresting press.) 

In yet other posts, Peña condones the “looting” of women, disavows the existence of systemic police racism, and fantasizes about President Donald Trump riding to America's rescue on a patriotic tank.

Spokespersons for the Minneapolis Police Department did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Neither did Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.