In An Amazing Display Of Racism, News Station Claims Mayor Was Flashing Gang Signs

gang sign

In what is being tagged #pointergate on Twitter, a Minnesota news station ran an absolutely irresponsible  and overtly racist story claiming Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges flashed gang signs with a black man who also happened to be a convicted felon. ABC 5 in Minneapolis headlined their news coverage Thursday night with a story about the mayor, claiming local law enforcement was horrified by images of her with a known gang member flashing apparent gang signs. The story happened to coincide with Hodges’ declaration that Minneapolis cops will be required to wear body cameras starting Friday.

The so-called flashing of gang signs with a dangerous criminal was actually Hodges and a community activist trying to take a picture together and unsure how to pose. The activist, Navell Gordon of Neighborhood Organizing for Change, was canvassing with Hodges prior to the election when they decided to pose for a photo. A video by the organization was posted to YouTube showing Hodges and Gordon together before, during and after the photo was shot.



As you can see from the video, Gordon discusses his criminal past, which means he was unable to register to vote in the most recent election. However, he volunteered his time to make sure others can get the opportunity to vote and talks about how he hopes to be able to vote in the next Presidential election. Overall, an inspirational tale, and you can see why Mayor Hodges wanted to spend time with him and others of the organization.

Well, Jay Kolls, a reporter with KSTP-5, decided to go in a different direction with this story. Basing his story solely on a picture of Hodges and Gordon pointing at each other, Kolls hyped up his piece with a couple of tweets promising to discuss why the mayor was flashing gang signs with a two-time convicted felon.



At 10 PM local time Thursday night, the station ran the story, replete with interviews from current and former police officers stating with absolute certainty that the mayor is not only flashing gang signs, but standing in solidarity with the gangs. Kolls reports in the piece that the simple hand gestures of each person pointing at the other are really signs from a well-known local gang.

Below is video of the segment, which has to be seen to be believed:


By Friday morning, the news station and Kolls were the subjects of ridicule for their racist hit piece on the mayor that was almost certainly done to benefit the local police force. Daily Kos‘ Shaun King said that it’s “so racist and so outrageous, that people are questioning whether or not it’s satire from The Onion.” Vanity Fair labeled it the “most pathetic news story of the week.” Nekima Levy-Pounds of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote a column in response titled ‘Dear White People: Mayor Betsy Hodges is Not in a Gang.’

Meanwhile, #pointergate was trending throughout the day Friday. Thousands of people piled on Kolls and KSTP-5 by commenting how ridiculous it was to jump to the conclusion that Hodges was flashing gang signs or simply posting photos of other people taking pictures pointing at others.


The station released a statement on Twitter Friday afternoon standing behind its story. It stated that police brought the matter to the attention of the station as a matter of “public safety.”

Essentially, the station admitted it was doing the police department’s dirty work for them. Hodges has been tough on the department through her tenure as she’s tried to crack down on police brutality and corruption. With her forcing police officers to wear body cameras, it seems those higher up in the department decided to throw some trash at her. And KSTP was more than willing to follow along.

Just when you think you’ve seen the bottom of the barrel…

17 Replies to “In An Amazing Display Of Racism, News Station Claims Mayor Was Flashing Gang Signs”

  1. Hey it worked in Ferguson so lets export it here. All I can say is the john birchers, closet klan and those who enjoy their white privilege think they have won so these stories will increase a 110% until decent people of all races say enough is enough

  2. This is a good read and it just proves the point that no matter who you are or what you have done African Americans will be viewed as sub human

    I taught my black kids that their elite upbringing would protect them from discrimination. I was wrong.

    The author and his family.
    I knew the day would come, but I didn’t know how it would happen, where I would be, or how I would respond. It is the moment that every black parent fears: the day their child is called a nigger.

    My wife and I, both African Americans, constitute one of those Type A couples with Ivy League undergraduate and graduate degrees who, for many years, believed that if we worked hard and maintained great jobs, we could insulate our children from the blatant manifestations of bigotry that we experienced as children in the 1960s and ’70s.
    Read More

  3. The Buddy Christ “pointer” followed by Kolls’ own arrest photo is just delicious.
    My understanding is that Kolls is not now and has never been an A-list reporter in that market.

  4. Gang signs are simply an alternative means of communication. Nothing more, nothing less.

    By definition, Boy Scouts and Mormon Elders are gang members. hence, their respective salutes and hand shakes are gang signs.

  5. When one African-American addresses another African-American as a nigger, it is an act of love, caring and affection.

    Black Power!

  6. I don’t use it. My kids cant use it and if anyone in my presence black or my white friends use it they get an ass chewing

  7. America doesn’t deserve President Obama.
    History will show how much we let him down.
    He will be the president of ‘what if ‘.
    We should be so ashamed.

  8. The Minnesota Twin Cities market is for the most part a very liberal place. That said, we have two very conservative news media channels working in lock step with the republican agenda. Our fox affiliate, not surprisingly, is the most conservative. But the ABC affiliate, KSTP, where this story originated, is trying very hard to become the most GOP friendly. Anything coming from them that smacks of partisanship should be ignored.

  9. Might have something to do with the ownership. If one looks up Stanley Hubbard of Hubbard Broadcasting, he is a serious 1%er in the vein of the kochs.

  10. Did some Christmas shopping in the twin cities at the mall of America. This is just one of many examples of stupidity personnified by our leaders in Congress. I had a great time up there and loved every second. Prez Obama hasn’t divided this great country, the Teakoches have. The repubicans were more than happy to lay down with those racists, now they have cooties & flaming cross disease.

  11. KSTP is owned by Stanley S. Hubbard, an ultra-conservative Republican on par with Sheldon Adelson. Is it in any wonder that propaganda, puff pieces, infotainment, and racism leak through?

  12. Mayor Hodges is a democrat. I don’t watch KSTP, channel 5 or any of the other local stations here in Minneapolis, especially the Fox station, channel 9. All garbage!

  13. Why would you say that. That is a white mans word for disrespect. I wish all strong black boy (no diss) and men would stop using such a degrading word. They are not n***ers they are men. And I wish all girls and women would stop calling each other “ho”. I’m white but it hurts me to the core when I hear people using. All my little brothers and sisters on twitter know better than to use those words around me, because they are better than that.

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