On Monday, the Woodbury Public Safety Department fielded several phone calls stemming from a social media post in a private group that stated an attempted abduction by three black men occurred in Woodbury earlier in the day. At the time the calls were received, no report of an attempted abduction had been made with our department. However, later that evening, we received a report of suspicious activity that was reported to have occurred earlier in the day.
Officers and detectives investigated the report thoroughly by speaking directly with the complainant and visiting the scene, and determined that there was no indication of an attempted abduction or any attempt of a crime against a person. It was determined that the activity in question was an interaction between a group of persons and not directed at the complainant. It was also determined through the investigation that the complainant did nothing wrong, did not file a false report, and there was no racial motivation behind the complaint.
However, there were false and deeply disturbing claims about the incident on the Facebook group made by others – but not by the complainant who called police. These false claims caused concern for some residents. While many of these comments and claims have since been deleted by the original posters, I want to be clear that any racial profiling or bias-based behavior is unacceptable and is not who we are as a community. These acts have no place here in Woodbury. If you are the victim of these actions or are aware of these incidents happening, I urge you to call 911 – our officers are available to assist at any hour of the day. Also, if you have questions about any investigation, call our Police Department at 651-714-3600 to learn more.
It’s also important to remind you that if/when there is a reported abduction in Woodbury, formal communication will be shared through official law enforcement and/or city communications channels, not by individuals in private Facebook groups.
To our residents of color, I’m sorry for any pain these social media comments may have caused you. As your mayor, the City Council and I strongly desire to ensure everyone feels welcome, safe and connected in our community.
- Anne Burt, Mayor of Woodbury