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mpls. council member cano rebuked for defying city hall security

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mpls. council member cano rebuked for defying city hall security

the president of minneapolis city council and two county commissioners recently chastised council member alondra cano for defying city hall security guards during an after-hours oil pipeline gathering this fall.

cano released a stern letter she received from the three officials, dated dec. 30, as well as security footage of the altercation on her facebook page on tuesday. the letter was signed by council president barb johnson and hennepin county commissioners jan callison and peter mclaughlin, who serve on the board of the joint agency that oversees city hall.

“[building] staff observed you encouraging demonstrators to remain in the building, physically touching security staff, opening locked exterior doors from within so others could gain entry, providing food to them, and interfering with building staff’s directions,” the letter said.

cano said she released the letter and footage after learning it had been requested by a local television station.

the first-term council member representing the central lake street area has become a polarizing figure at city hall for her activism-infused style of politics, which has leaned heavily on rallies and online paigns.

the security spat occurred oct. 28, following news that hennepin county sheriff rich stanek deployed deputies to north dakota to ist local officials with the dakota access pipeline protest. it spurred a m ive demonstration at city hall, followed by what an activist media site live-streaming the event called a “sit-in in front of stanek’s office ... that lasted until 10:15 p.m.”

the security video shows security personnel guarding city hall doors as people mill about outside. at about 8 p.m., cano opens the door to let a man in, prompting a guard to restrain him. cano then intervened in the doorway, yelling to the guards that “he’s part of my public meeting.” later, cano is confronted by the guards while trying to bring pizza into the building.

“this is a public building,” cano said in an interview. “i have access to the building at all hours because i represent the people of the city. and so i was there to essentially support the community members in having this conver ion that they wanted to have with stanek.”

city hall is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there are procedures for hosting after-hours meetings. the letter said they were not followed.

callison, president of the municipal building commission, which operates the building, said it is the first letter of that nature the commission has sent during her three-year tenure on the board. “

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