Commander Demoted For Sharing Picture Of 25-Year-Old 'Racially-Charged' Shirt
Minneapolis, MN – A Minneapolis police commander was demoted two weeks after she posted a picture of a 25-year-old t-shirt that offended some people.
The shirt, posted by former Minneapolis Police Commander Kim Lund, featured the words “Minneapolis Homocide Division – Our Day Starts When Yours Ends” above and below a chalk outline and crime scene tape.
Now-Lieutenant Lund is married to a former Minneapolis homicide detective. Numerous articles refer to her “Kim Lund Voss” but she uses her former name professionally.
Then-Cmdr. Lund, a 33-year veteran of the police force, posted on Facebook in late March that she “came across this gem” while she was reorganizing a storage room, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
"It pays to proof read before you hit 'print,'" she captioned the since-deleted picture that she posted to her own publicly-available Facebook page, in reference to the misspelling of the word “homicide” on the shirt.
Screenshots of the post circulated on social media and quickly made it into the hands of Cmdr. Lund’s officials at the Minneapolis Police Department after Minneapolis NAACP President Leslie Redmond posted that she was “disturbed” about it, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
"I do not think this was about the misspelling of the word homicide," Redmond wrote. "This is extremely insensitive, especially considering the involved demographics."
She called Cmdr. Lund’s post potentially homophobic and racially-charged, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The commander took down her post and offered an apology.
“I am told that the photo of the 25ish year old t-shirt that I found in a storage bin came across to some as offensive,” she wrote on March 31. “I have pulled down the post, I am sorry if it offended anyone, my intention was not to offend anyone with the content of the message on the shirt but to show that misprints commonly occurred back in the days prior to spellcheck.”
On Sunday, now-Lt. Lund went back to the social media platform that had gotten in trouble to announce her demotion and transfer.
“I am going to start a new work assignment in the 3rd Precinct as the Lieutenant in charge of the Property Crimes Unit,” she wrote on her personal Facebook page. “This assignment is a wonderful new challenge as it allows me to be even closer to helping the community – especially those that have suffered from burglaries, thefts, and other property offenses.”
“In addition, I have a few words that need to be heard,” Lt. Lund continued. “The biggest problem for me is to cover the offense of strangers. I didn’t mean the post as offense to anyone. 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.”
“There’s a story behind the T-Shirt that was made as a fund raiser by a private businessman for his business. I won’t bore you,” she wrote. “It’s almost impossible for me to defend a description of me that I am not…So, let’s just start with who I am. I’ve given my life to my city, my family & my God. I’m proud for the fact that as a woman I’ve worked, by way of integrity, my way up into a position of importance inside a police department that sets a standard for other major cities to follow. I am a part of that team, with that mission and purpose. We are a department of inclusion and diversity.”
Her post addressed lies she said had been told about her.
“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 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,” Lt. Lund wrote.
She also explained that her use of the word “gem” to describe the shirt was sarcastic reference to the misspelling and a slur against the LGBTQ community.
The police department would not comment on what they called an “HR issue” but confirmed Lt. Lund’s new assignment, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.