BLACKDUCK, Minn. -- Rudy Patch resigned as mayor of Blackduck late Monday afternoon, June 1, prior to a scheduled emergency meeting of the City Council.
The council had originally planned an emergency meeting for 6 p.m. on Monday to address a meme that Patch posted on his Facebook page over the weekend. That meeting was to be held at City Hall with a limit of 10 attendees because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Later it was rescheduled for Blackduck Wayside Park so that more people could attend.
But the meeting was canceled late in the afternoon when Patch submitted his letter of resignation.
Patch shared a meme on his Facebook page over the weekend that showed a blood-covered vehicle with the caption: "I don't know what you mean by protesters on the freeway. I came through no problem."
This past week, the Twin Cities has seen nightly protests after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police May 25. The protests have spread to regional cities as well as major metropolitan cities across the nation.
The post was later taken down, but captured screen shots of it were shared on other pages.
In his letter, Patch wrote that he regretfully resigned and hoped that the City Council would put in place "some good racism training policies."
Here is the text of Patch's letter:
"I have been a city official for the past 8 years and try to look out for the best interest of the city. I have made a mistake by sharing a post without the correct context behind it. The post was in reference to a conversation I had the night before. I ran across this post the next day and wanted to share it with that person. I did not like the post. I did not see humor in the post. It was meant for the individual to recognize how bad it could be to drive through protesters. And also, if you are going to protest, to do so safely because this could happen."
Patch also explained that he is a first responder himself, "I try to save lives, not take them. . . Protests can, and do, send a strong message. I would like for everyone to work together as a team. I believe ALL lives matter. I would like to get training available to myself and anyone that has interest in learning more about racism, to make things better for our community and world."