Is Laura Libby Objective In This?
By Andrew Richter
The group Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) was at it again at the Crystal City Council meeting last week, embarrassing themselves by shouting and screaming at the council and causing the meeting to be shut down. If you ask me the group was intentionally trying to cause a scene in the hopes of getting arrested and becoming martyrs. Kudos to Mayor Jim Adams for not falling for it.
I don’t want to give this group the satisfaction of more attention by recapping the meeting. I may do that later. But one thing that has bothered me about this group is their relationship with Crystal councilperson Laura Libby.
Now, first let me say this; everyone comes to political office with their set of beliefs. But, once you are elected your obligation to represent citizens that elected you outweigh your personal pet projects. you’re no longer an advocate, you are a city official. Laura Libby’s relationship with the group CUAPB seems to blur that line.
This group has called the city council members vile names, accused them of covering up the truth, trashed the police chief and the city manager, is suing the city, and suing a council member, yet Ms. Libby doesn’t hesitate to get in bed with them.
Her website actively promotes this group and the police officers involved; Alan Watt And Rob Erkenbrack;
She promoted their website, encouraged people to attend a rally for the officers, and even linked to two news stories about the case from channel 5 and the Star Tribune.
Also on her website Libby writes about an August 5 work session that “The Crystal City Council will be discussing these officers leave tonight at a closed work session immediately following the Crystal City Council meeting. I am hoping for some answers and information from the city, which we have not really received.”
Hmmmm….sounds harmless until you go to the facebook page of this group where I found this picture;
Does this look like a council member who is seeking the “truth?” Or does this look like an advocate for a cause? How can Ms. Libby be objective in an investigation regarding these two officers, yet at the same time be their advocate?
Of course CUAPB lauds Libby for her stance, but let me propose a question; what of there was a “rally” in support of the police chief or the city manager and Mayor Adams or another council member attended? What would this group be saying about that? They’d be calling them names and claiming that they can’t be objective. But it’s OK if Libby does it for CUAPB.
The group’s facebook page contains several posts blasting the city, its officials, and police department.
Here is a photo Ms. Libby ‘liked” of the two officers (one with a “just bring it” shirt) and CUAPB outside agitator Michelle Gross.
Rob Erkenbrack’s wife has made several posts calling for “good to triumph over evil” in which Libby has also “liked.”
Mrs. Erkenbrack also made a post where she was “tired of holding her tongue” (even though when one reads her posts I don’t know where she held her tongue) and claimed that Police Chief Stephanie Revering and City Manager Anne Norris of “playing games with two officers lives.”
Libby liked that post as well.
When the city council called a recess at the February 18 meeting, Libby refused to leave with the council. Instead she sat in the council chambers while the CUAPB members (where very few live in Crystal) sat there and told her how great she was. Libby wasn’t apologetic for staying. Later on the group’s facebook page Libby said the following;
“The council should not have walked out. I do not think that is right on so many levels.”
“I do believe that remaining in the council chambers when they all walked out exerted some power and a message that I do not think that walking out on citizens while they are speaking is the right thing for elected officials to do.”
Now does Laura Libby have the right to sit in the council chambers? Answer yes I suppose. Does she have the right to sympathize with these two officers? Answer yes. Is Laura Libby a corrupt person? Answer no. Is she a bad or dishonest person? Answer no. I am not attacking Libby’s character, I’m questioning her actions. I think she is an honest advocate for the causes she believes in but she’s a council member now, not a private citizen.
I do believe however, that she doesn’t seem to understand the difference between advocating for a cause and representing people as an elected official. This group has all but declared war on the city of Crystal and we have a council member that has joined with them.
I’m sure I’ll get attacked for this post but so be it. My challenge to Laura Libby is to explain her actions and tell citizens of Crystal how she can be objective in this.
Just one man’s opinion folks…..let the comments beating begin.