St. Paul police are taking over a Minneapolis police investigation into a melee that broke out at a DFL party caucus more than two weeks ago.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges asked Police Chief Janee Harteau to transfer the investigation to avoid any perception of potential conflict of interest.
"Over the past few weeks, I have been disturbed by the allegations of violence and intimidation that happened at the Cedar-Riverside caucus," said Hodges in a statement released Friday. "It is imperative to all that we make sure there is not an ounce of question about the impartiality of this investigation."
At least one woman, city council aide Ilhan Omar, was injured in the scuffle at the Brian Coyle Community Center on Feb. 4.
Omar, an aide to City Council Member Andrew Johnson, said her boss was approached by fellow city Council Member Abdi Warsame one day before the caucus. Omar said Warsame told Johnson to keep Omar away from the event, or else there would be trouble.
Johnson said he reported the conversation to the city attorney's office, and that triggered an internal investigation into possible workplace misconduct.
Omar said Friday she was frustrated by the apparent pace of the investigation by Minneapolis police.
"I just hope that St. Paul police take this serious, we are talking about the dignity of a community, we're talking about the political process, we are talking about violence against a woman," Omar said.
Warsame did not respond to requests for commment tonight.
He is backing DFL Rep. Phyllis Kahn, who is facing a challenge from Minneapolis school board member Mohamud Noor, also a Democrat.
Reporter Jon Collins contributed to this story.