(AP) - Two Minneapolis police officers were put on administrative leave pending an investigation, the police department confirmed Saturday.
Sgt. William Palmer, a police spokesman, said Officer Mike Roberts and Lt. Lee Edwards were placed on paid administrative leave, but reasons behind the move were not disclosed.
Palmer said he had "absolutely no idea" why the officers were put on leave. He said no additional information was available.
WCCO-TV and the Star Tribune reported on their Web sites Saturday that the officers were under a federal criminal investigation.
The nature of that investigation is unclear.
Edwards is one of five black officers suing the police department over allegations of race discrimination. Andrew Muller, an attorney for Edwards, said the investigation into the undisclosed allegation is "baseless."
Muller released a statement, saying that Edwards was removed from duty on Friday.
"The intent of the allegations against Lt. Edwards can only be to punish and intimidate those on the MPD who speak out against discrimination," the statement said.
Muller also said that there is no connection between Edwards and officer Roberts.
Roberts is a 29-year veteran of the department. It was unclear whether Roberts has an attorney and a phone listing for Roberts was not immediately available Saturday.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)