Activists display ‘bullying cops works’ sign at Minneapolis event

The sign pointed to the city's 31% decline in police officers to demonstrate that "bullying cops works."

Martha Holton Dimick/Twitter

On display at a Minneapolis street festival this past weekend was a sign comparing police officers to pigs and proclaiming that “bullying cops works.”

Martha Holton Dimick, a candidate for Hennepin County attorney, snapped a photograph of the sign on West Broadway Ave. on Saturday, where Open Streets Minneapolis was hosting a block party.

The sign listed the three finalists for Minneapolis police chief, accompanied by images of pigs and pig-related nicknames: Elvin “Bacon” Barren, Brian “O’Ham” O’Hara, and RaShall “RaSqueal” Brackney.

“Whoever they choose will be a police preservationist — committed to bamboozling Mpls w/ empty reforms,” the sign commented. “Black or white — man or woman — ACAB means All Cops Are Bastards.”

The sign displayed a hand-drawn bar graph showing a breakdown of the projected 2024 budget for the city of Minneapolis, including $199 million for the Minneapolis Police Department, and also used the 31% decline in officers from spring 2020 to demonstrate that “bullying cops works.”

In social media posts, Dimick said the sign was displayed only “three blocks from the scene where four people including two pregnant women” were shot the night before. On Facebook she described her interaction with the people displaying the sign, claiming they were “yelling [Dimick’s] name and squeaking a pig toy” at her.

“Mind you, nine people were shot in 5 hours on Thursday night/Friday morning, most of them within a mile of this poster,” she said. “I told them that if they came here on my behalf they should go home because we need to recruit good people from the community to become police officers. They screamed at me and called me a pig.”

“While my opponent repeats that she supports ‘data-driven’ solutions, her supporters continue to support getting rid of the police,” Dimick continued. “I’m going to call out people who try to discourage young Black men from working in law enforcement. They are free to call me names too, and I’m sure they will continue to do so.”

One Twitter user disputed Dimick’s account, claiming instead that many in the group didn’t even recognize her, let alone yell her name, and that “she wasn’t satisfied by our indifference so she came back in a pedicab to yell more.”

Dimick is a former prosecutor and district judge who decided to run for Hennepin County attorney after her neighborhood in north Minneapolis started experiencing regular shootings after the George Floyd riots in 2020.

She has received endorsements from the Star Tribune, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, the Minneapolis Firefighters Association Local 82, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.