Mpls. leader faces heat for tweets after Black Lives Matter protest

Alondra Cano
Alondra Cano
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News 2013

A Minneapolis City Council member is facing criticism for posting correspondence with city residents she disagreed with on social media. The images she posted, and later deleted, included contact information such as addresses and phone numbers.

Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano participated in Wednesday's Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America. Some Minneapolis residents wrote to her through the city's email system to express opposition to her involvement in the protest.

Cano posted images of at least four residents' comments on her public Twitter page during the afternoon. The images included the residents' full names and contact information that included addresses, phone numbers or emails.

Redacted tweet from @People4Alondra
Ward 9 Council Member Alondra Cano posted images of at least four residents' comments on her public Twitter account, @People4Alondra.
Screencap

Minneapolis resident Stephen Dent said while he is a supporter of Black Lives Matter, he doesn't approve of the tactic of protesting on private property at the Mall of America. He told her in his message that she is "unfit to be a Minneapolis City Council member" and that she wouldn't receive any more donations from him.

"I just felt that was really wrong that an elected official would incite other people to break the law," Dent told MPR News on Thursday. "I just thought it was really unethical behavior."

Cano posted a response on Twitter that she was "sorry 2 lose ur support, but #BlackLivesMatter more 2 me than money," according to screenshots of the posts.

Dent said he didn't receive a personal response from Cano, but that his phone started ringing off the hook shortly after she posted his comment and contact information, with most of the callers expressing support for his criticism.

Dent said he thinks posting his contact information online was an attempt to shame him and others who criticized her support for the protest.

"I think it puts a huge chill on our democratic society when we can't communicate with our elected officials...without creating fear that those public officials will retaliate against an individual," Dent said. "It's really broken my trust in public officials and I believe she's damaged her own cause."

Cano later deleted the tweets that included images of the comments and contact information.

Cano did not respond to requests for comment from MPR News. But she said on Twitter Wednesday that the emails were public information.

State law says that "correspondence between individuals and elected officials is private data on individuals, but may be made public by either the sender or the recipient." Posting the comments also doesn't appear to be a violation of the city's code of ethics.

Mall officials temporarily closed some stores during Wednesday's protest and warned protesters to leave or face arrest. Many protesters traveled to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where they briefly blocked traffic. A dozen protesters were arrested during the day.

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