Politicians often have to be on their toes, with accusations of corruption and misdeeds coming at them left and right. Even with their constant vigilance and careful tightrope walking, something from out of nowhere can come up and ruin their day. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges now knows this firsthand, as she was hit with a bit of unprovoked slander when KSTP, a local ABS News affiliate, put forth a report claiming that she was throwing up "gang signs" in a photo she took with a convicted felon.
The photo in question was taken a week before the city's local elections, and is actually of Mayor Hodges posing harmlessly, pointing her fingers. The convicted felon with whom she is embracing is now working with Neighborhoods Organizing For Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the lives of low- and moderate-income Minnesota residents. The two, along with several others, were out canvassing the city to help encourage citizens to vote.
Unfortunately, KSTP neglected to capture the true circumstance of the picture, going instead with what an unnamed source from the local police department told them. The idea that being seen next to a criminal (who is now attempting to better his life along with his community), while making a meaningless gesture, can be twisted into an endorsement of gang culture is a disturbing thought to say the least.