The Potluck

Minneapolis mayor reprimanded new community safety commissioner for lashing out on Twitter

By: - March 22, 2023 11:46 am

Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander. CL Alexander Consulting

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey reprimanded Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander last year after some wayward tweeting, according to records reviewed by the Reformer

Alexander oversees the city’s Office of Community Safety, which includes 911, the police and fire departments, the Office of Emergency Management and Neighborhood Safety, formerly known as the Office of Violence Prevention. 

Alexander was just a couple of months into his job as Minneapolis’ first community safety commissioner when one Thursday evening in October, he responded to a tweet questioning why nine empty police squad cars were parked on and near Nicollet Mall sidewalks downtown.

Alexander replied that the squad cars were there for visibility, and accused the tweeter of “two-faced talking from both sides of your mouth.” Jim Kruzitski is among those who replied, calling Alexander’s response childish and disappointing.

“Irrationally scolding the citizens of Minneapolis is not going to solve MPD’s problems,” Kruzitski wrote. 

Alexander shot back, “I don’t care about what you think… I’m interested in protecting this community not denouncing police who are trying 24/7 to protect us.” 

And with that, a Twitter battle ensued, with Alexander duking it out for about two hours. As the night wore on, he took on others, telling one to “stop winning (sic),” accusing others of “hatefulness” and wasting his time, and telling one “I don’t need to know you,” and “I don’t care about what you think.”

The next day, Alexander put out a statement expressing regret for the tone of the tweets. The mayor also released a statement saying he spoke with Alexander and appreciated his “prompt response today to the community and members of the media.”

Frey wrote a letter of reprimand in November. Frey wrote that Alexander was “readily identifiable” as the community safety commissioner even though the tweets came from his personal Twitter account.

Frey said in the written reprimand that the tweets violated the city’s social media policy, and “in the future, I expect you to comply” with the policy. 

Alexander has since deleted the tweets and hasn’t tweeted from that account since.

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Deena Winter
Deena Winter

Deena Winter has covered local and state government in four states over the past three decades, with stints at the Bismarck Tribune in North Dakota, as a correspondent for the Denver Post, city hall reporter in Lincoln, Nebraska, and regional editor for Southwest News in the western Minneapolis suburbs.