Minneapolis City Council resolves not to return police to burned Third Precinct building

20 July 2023

Minneapolis City Council members voted 12-1 on Thursday to rule out rebuilding the burned-out Third Precinct building — still surrounded by razor wire after being abandoned during the civil unrest in 2020 — for use as a police post in the future.

The vote came just days after Mayor Jacob Frey, Council President Andrea Jenkins and other city leaders announced a proposal to house Third Precinct officers at a downtown facility, just outside the borders of the precinct itself, at least for the next few years. City council members also voted unanimously to express their support for that plan.

But the long-term plan for the Third Precinct remains unclear. While residents are deeply divided over where — or whether — to rebuild a police headquarters in southeast Minneapolis, supporters said Thursday that it was clear there was “no political path” for a plan to return officers to the torched shell at Lake Street & Minnehaha Avenue.


“The one thing my constituents told me is that we need to do this so we can heal and so we can move forward,” said council member Jason Chavez, who called for the vote. “This will help ease the concerns that many of my constituents have, and this will help them to begin to heal once we close this chapter once and for all today.”

RELATED: Minneapolis leaders pitch downtown option for torched Third Police Precinct’s new location

Vice President Linea Palmisano was the lone council member to vote against the idea, saying she feared the motion ruled out stationing some police officers at Lake & Minnehaha as part of an “integrated” team of city employees offering public safety and social services.

“I realistically am not sure that we’ll ever move police back into that location. I don’t really see a world where that’s going to happen” Palmisano said, but added that she wanted to keep the option open. “I don’t see that as just being a redo of the old building,” she added.

Council member Lisa Goodman said integrating police and social services was worth exploring, but doubted that there was any appetite for reusing the Third Precinct building to house such a team.

“And there’s even less of an appetite to have the building sitting there looking like that,” Goodman added, saying the building was an eyesore along a major transit route. “That is an example of failure.”

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