Eddie Frizell, “The Peoples’ Sheriff”

Por Thomas Brooks/William Martinez

Eddie Frizell, current candidate for Hennepin County Sheriff, has been referring to himself as “The Peoples’ Sheriff.” This phrase was mentioned multiple times at a North Minneapolis public safety town hall forum hosted by Frizell’s campaign.  Frizell opened the town hall forum by stating, “I am running to become the next Hennepin County Sheriff because the people of our community have been ignored too long.”  He continued, “My time will be spent here, in the county, building relationships and bringing everyone to the table.”

Frizell has 21 years of law enforcement experience in which he currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Patrol for the Minneapolis Police Department, although he is currently out on leave to campaign.  He also has served with the Minnesota Army National Guard for 25 years where he currently serves as a Colonel.  This includes two deployments overseas to Iraq and Kuwait commanding the Red Bull Cavalry Squadron. Personally, he is a husband and father of three children ranging from 8 years old to 17 years old.

At his Minneapolis public safety town hall, Eddie commented, “I don’t want my kids’ first run-in with the police to be on one of the worst days of their lives.”  Wearing a purple and white ribbon to raise awareness for domestic violence, Frizell said, “I would expect my deputies to be out of their cars talking to people in the community, getting to know the kids by name, and meeting business owners.  One of the best ways to build stronger relationships is by diversifying the force and making sure the deputies reflect the communities we serve.”

A concern in the latino community is that law enforcement cannot be trusted.  The current sheriff, Rich Stanek, has used the jail as a safe haven for ICE to continue to rip apart families. A comment was raised by an attendee of the town hall stating, “Some men in the latino community know that when they beat their significant other, that person will not call the police out of fear of being deported.”  She continued, “It makes many in the latino community feel helpless.”

Frizell responded and said, “This fear of deportation with the help of the Sheriff’s office will stop on my watch!  As sheriff my job is to protect and serve the community and your immigration status is not relevant.” He continued, “No one should ever have to choose between their family or safety. As a person of color myself, I have zero tolerance for racial profiling and do not support targeting immigrant communities or reporting your immigration status when our job is to protect and serve everyone in the community.”