Mayor rejects criticism over 'Pointergate' photo

AP News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 8:57 PM
Mayor rejects criticism over 'Pointergate' photo

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The mayor of Minneapolis said she won't change the way she goes about her job, as she made her first public comments about a photo that a police union leader says shows her flashing a gang sign.

In a posting on her blog, Mayor Betsy Hodges joined others in making light of a story that led to a social media backlash and a hashtag that dubbed it all "Pointergate." The photo in question shows Hodges and a community activist pointing a finger at each other with their thumbs raised.

"I point. I point a lot. Lots of people point. ... I'm not going to stop pointing," the mayor wrote. She also said that the various spoof photos posted on Twitter shined "the light of day on the ridiculous premise on which it was based."

Hodges posed for the photo on Nov. 1. Law enforcement officers told KSTP-TV for a story that aired last week that the gesture was a known gang sign.

"Is she going to support gangs in this city or cops?" John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, told the station.

In her blog post Thursday, Hodges raised the possibility that the union was trying to discredit her work "to raise the standards of police culture and accountability," he failed.

Delmonico didn't immediately respond Friday to a phone message and email seeking comment.

KSTP aired a follow-up story Thursday night standing by its story and citing additional gang authorities to buttress it. During an appearance at Augsburg College on Thursday evening, KSTP owner Stanley Hubbard defended the report, which has been criticized as feeding on racial stereotypes, and refused protesters' demands that he apologize.