The City of Mankato has removed photos of suspects involved in looting and destruction of property at Target back on May 30th because of the racist comments associated with the post on social media. They originally posted the photos to get help from the public in identifying them.

In a Facebook post the city says:

 We acknowledge and appreciate the concerns shared and echo that these photos not be used to target people of color. Balancing personal accountability of damaging behavior, while respecting and protecting personal rights and honoring speech about an important topic is challenging. Taking the post down now would be disingenuous as it has been shared broadly on other media sites. The comments and dialogue associated are important.

Posts requesting public assistance to identify suspected individuals is determined based on level of charge, type of criminal activity, and the ability to secure images. Moving forward we will evaluate the practice of using social media and determine if potential impacts outweigh the tool’s value. We will continue to work closely with our diversity partners to look for opportunities to affect systemic change to eliminate structural racism. If there’s interest in further discussion, please call 507-387-8692.