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Guess How Many Mpls Police Have Been Disciplined in the Past 2 Years

Plus a job opening in Brooklyn Center, a food swamp in north Minneapolis, and terrible toilets everywhere in today's Flyover.

Chad Davis via Flickr

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

1 in 10 Apples Are Bad

In the past two years, about 10% of the Minneapolis police force was disciplined, the Minnesota Reformer reports. That comes out to 78 cops, more than in the past five preceding years combined. This is just “the latest indication of a Minneapolis Police Department in crisis,” the Reformer’s Deena Winter writes. For those just tuning in, previous indications include: instigating unrest by assaulting civilians, responding to justified public criticism by creating a work slowdown, and killing people in the streets and/or their homes. The increase in discipline likely has less to do with any self-generated concern for accountability within the department than with a court order requiring the chief to act on recommendations from the Office of Police Conduct Review within 30 days. The most common discipline? A letter of reprimand or suspension. Only nine officers were terminated in that two-year time period.

Why’d Mary Lucia Leave the Current? 

Conspicuously, the company-issued report on Mary Lucia’s departure from 89.3 the Current contained zero cheery farewell quotes from the DJ in question. In fact, it contained just one brief snippet: “Starting the Current 17 years ago was a joy.” Full stop. The straight dope came a day later, when Lucia, one of the station’s original hires from 2005, alluded to the un-cheery reasons she’s leaving her drive-time post. “Why I’ve made the heartbreaking decision to leave my position at The Current is a long and nuanced story,” she wrote via her personal Facebook account. “The shortest version is I’ve been trying for years to affect positive change in the company. I’ve been concerned with equity and fair treatment of all of my sisters at the station.” Lucia stressed that this isn’t retirement—”I have at least 2 books in me to write,” she slyly added. (She’s currently on the air for her final show, until 6 p.m.) The Current and Minnesota Public Radio have endured an endless wave of staff departures over the past few years as the executive class at their parent company, American Public Media, continues to rake in six-figure salaries.

Why’s There So Much Fast Food in N. Mpls?

That’s what a new study out of the U of M hopes to discover, according to the Star Tribune. While “food deserts” have been analyzed, the story says, research has been limited on “food swamps”—areas saturated with unhealthy options. The essential question here is: Do people eat fast food because that’s their primary option, or do fast food joints spring up in areas where there are the most customers? Researcher Fernando Burga says he hopes to integrate public input from area residents into the study. “When you think about the options you have, you have to think about the history of this neighborhood,” Queen Frye, co-founder of the urban garden nonprofit R. Roots, tells the Strib. “When people feel like they don’t have power or choice, now I really understand how far back that goes—it’s layered and embedded into policies.”

Super Stressful Safety Reform Job Available

Last January, David Zaffrann was hired to lead a public safety committee for north metro suburb Brooklyn Center. Three months later, he’s resigning from the gig. The position was created to help implement a new safety department that will dispatch social workers and other mental health professionals for certain types of wellness calls and traffic violations. Zaffrann hasn’t given a reason for exiting. “I will be leaving to pursue other opportunities and will continue to support this project in other ways,” he said in a public statement. According to the Star Tribune, whose reporters did some lurking on LinkedIn, Zaffrann has previously worked for the Office of Violence Prevention in Minneapolis. Public records show that the position, which Mayor Mike Elliott says he is currently working to fill, pays $80,000.

Plunge Into the Shit List

In the journalism trade, tough editorial decisions must be made on a near-constant basis. Today, for instance, we had to decide whether this booming local Reddit post—”Worst place to poop in the city?“—deserved the full article treatment or whether it’s better suited as a Flyover blurb. Ignoring it was out of the question. So yes, we encourage you to plumb the depths of the responses, all 120+ of ‘em. Among the especially shitty places to shit, per redditors: Grumpy’s NE (“hilariously bad, almost demonically bad on a weekend night”); the ol’ Triple Rock Social Club (“For a while the men’s shitter had no door and the ladies only had a shower curtain”); the ladies room at CC Club (“When you’re sitting on the toilet, the stall door is literally an inch from your face”); and Cowboy Jack’s (“Do not put your hands down on anything in there.”) The bathrooms at rival Northeast townie bars Spring Street Tavern and Moose on Monroe also reportedly stink.