ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Paul police chief, Mayor Chris Coleman and leaders of several African American community groups are stressing open dialogue after meeting Monday to discuss the arrest of Chris Lollie.
"We realize we have a great relationship with the St. Paul Police Department, but we also want to strengthen that relationship," said Rev. Charles Gill, president of the St. Paul Black Interdenominational Minister Alliance. "We had a great productive meeting this afternoon, and we want to continue to follow up."
Mayor Chris Coleman said he appreciated the concerns that had been raised and said the community is stronger because the groups came together to have an open conversation.
"We will continue to work through to provide adequate and sufficient answers for the community to make sure they know going forward that when the police say they are there to protect and serve, they're there to protect and serve everyone in this community, without regard to race," said Coleman.
Lollie was arrested in January and says he was sitting in the skyway waiting to pick up his children when security guards called police and said he'd been sitting in a private area. The 28-year-old recorded the encounter, in which police used a stun gun on him despite his protests that he'd done nothing wrong.
Police Federation President Dave Titus said that Lollie refused "numerous lawful orders for an extended period of time."
In a statement released Saturday, Titus said officers acted "responsibly, respectfully and in accordance with the high professional standards we expect from our members."
Mayor Coleman has asked for a police and citizens commission to review Lollie's arrest.