African-American leaders want Garofalo censured over NBA tweet

Mel Reeves speaks with reporters
Mel Reeves speaks at a news conference calling on House DFLers to censure Rep. Pat Garofalo (MPR Photo/Tom Scheck)

Representatives of the Minneapolis and St. Paul NAACP, clergy and other leaders in the African-American community are calling on the DFL-controlled House to censure a Republican lawmaker for tweeting a comment that they consider racist.

The group says Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, didn't apologize directly for a statement he wrote on Twitter that linked NBA basketball players with street crime.

Mel Reeves, an associate minister at Zion Baptist Church, said he wants Garofalo to make a sincere apology. He also said DFL leaders in the House should file an ethics complaint or face a backlash.

“It’s going to get a little bit ugly because we’re not going to let it go,” Reeves said. “We’re going to have community meetings about it. It’s going to behoove them to come and say something because it’s also a teachable moment.”

Garofalo made national headlines last week after he wrote on Twitter that the only way anyone would notice a reduction in NBA teams would be an increase in street crime.

He faced reporters last week and apologized. 

Today Garofalo said little about calls that he be reprimanded.

"I apologized last week, and that statement stands for itself," Garofalo said.

DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen said he wanted to look into the complaint before commenting.

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