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Rainville On His Racist Weekend Press Tour: I Didn’t Mean It!

Plus more garbage from ex-sheriff Hutchinson, gun violence is (slightly) down, and a feel-good piece on wolves in today's Flyover.|

Rainville on the campaign trail.

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

When It Rainvilles, It Pourvilles

Michael Rainville, the council member for Minneapolis’s Third Ward, apologized this weekend for saying the quiet part loud. In the wake of a chaotic, deadly Independence Day, Rainville promised supporters to tell Somali elders that "their children can no longer have that type of behavior." But that’s not what he meant! "I was trying to convey that we need more support for our youth,” explained Rainville, who has voted against funding for the Office of Violence Prevention. (So, not that kind of support for our youth.) If I were that bad at saying what I meant, I’d probably talk less, but Rainville instead had a little rally this weekend where he leaned into his new role as Sayer of Things.

At his “Take Back the Street” event, he cautioned attendees: "We are being filmed by people who don't understand living in the violent atmosphere you have. Be aware of what you say and who you say it to." (Lotta “good people vs. bad people” thinking in the ol’ Rainville brain, huh?) One person who was not aware enough of what she said and who she said it to was candidate for Hennepin County Attorney Martha Holton Dimick, who said of Rainville’s Somali comments, “He said what a lot of people are thinking.” That’s always a sentiment that leads public debate to a good place! Anyway, the orchestration of the whole affair (and Rainville’s willingness to talk to right-wing lapdogs Alpha News) suggests that the council members audience might be just people who don’t live in the Third Ward, or even Minneapolis.

How Bad Is Gun Violence Right Now?

To hear your fish avatar uncle from Isanti tell it, it’s approaching apocalyptic, Escape from New York levels. And that sentiment is beginning to rub off on local centrist libs, some of whom recently called for the National Guard to militarize our streets. Following the July 4 mayhem, the Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix and Jeff Hargarten decided to consult a less panicked, reactionary source: the numbers on gunshot victims dating back to 2008. “Shooting assaults and homicides are down slightly from this time in 2021,” they write, “offering some optimism that the wave crested last year.” Problem is, our current midway gunshot victim total (289) is still dramatically higher than… every other year during that span, except for 2021 (329). In fact, between '08 and ‘19, the figure never shot higher than 163. Things are bad over in St. Paul too, Mannix and Hargarten report, and historically low cop staffing levels are resulting in high response times to the violence. As for solutions, residents appear split in a fashion similar to this classic, still-resonant Simpsons bit. During a community meeting Friday at Polish deli Kramarczuk's, council member Michael Rainville, whose recent/shitty comments you just learned about, restated his wish for National Guard soldiers policing the city–"eliciting rounds of loud boos and cheers from the crowd," the Strib observed.

Sheriff Hutchinson Sends Racist, Barely Literate Texts

A hot garbage situation just got hotter, as news broke via Fox 9's Tom Lyden that Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson is under investigation for creating a hostile, threatening, and toxic work environment. According to sources, that includes threats, sending out racist and homophobic texts and emails, and basically trying to ride into the police pension sunset without any accountability. Less important but still concerning? This guy can barely write.

A few tidbits:

"She get dfl for sure. Black all the care about… People are sick of black people getting things solely on being black"–Hutchinson, to a staffer, on Suwana Kirkland, who at the time was gunning for his gig.

"Idk. Maybe. Fuck you-ya bald mumbling faggot"–Hutchinson to a coworker who asked him if he needed any info before an important phone call.

“Bring it on. There’s nothing that anyone can do to me.”–Hutchinson in an email after learning he was being investigated for falsifying time cards.

You might remember Hutchinson as the dude who flipped his cop car (which was filled with THC gummies, booze, guns, vaping supplies, and banana bread) while heading home from a work party at 126 mph earlier this year. (In the hospital he tried to avoid a blood alcohol test, claimed the car wasn’t his, and that he wasn’t driving at the time. Three hours later he blew a .13, which is over the legal limit of .08.) He’s been out of the office since, and has filed for permanent PTSD disability.

Wolves Rock

Let’s conclude today’s heavy Flyover with some lighter news. On Sunday, the Star Tribune rolled out a highly informative, aesthetically compelling deep-dive into the state of Minnesota’s wolves. Our pals at the Voyageurs Wolf Project are featured throughout; Stacy, Minnesota's Wildlife Science Center, where my dog Koda once barked at a black bear during husky immersion day, makes an appearance, as does Ely’s International Wolf Center. Writer Greg Stanley and photographer Anthony Soufflé address the populations, politics, and emotional power associated with wolves, an animal that calls Minnesota home in record numbers in the lower 48. It’s worth setting aside 10 minutes of your day and reading the entire package. And don’t sleep on what many are calling the Photo of the Year—an image of a wolf leaping into a goddamn fish net!

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