MN Human Rights Dept. seeks public comments on Minneapolis Police Dept. Consent Decree

In this post:

  • MN Human Rights Dept. seeks public comment on Consent Decree to address Minneapolis Police Dept. racism, abuses
  • Lesson for Minnesota? Research on Chicago PD suggests police misconduct portrayed as is “bad apples” is really a group phenomenon

MN Human Rights Dept. seeks public comment on Consent Decree to address Minneapolis Police Dept. racism, abuses

The Minnesota Human Rights Department (MDHR) is starting work with the city of Minneapolis to develop a court-enforceable consent decree that identifies specific changes to ongoing racist policing and timelines for action. It’s asking for public comments to help shape that work.

This is a follow up to MDHR’s scathing report on the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) that found “significant racial disparities with respect to officers’ use of force, traffic stops, searches, citations, and arrests.”

Among other things, the report cited “deficient training, which emphasizes a paramilitary approach,” insufficient accountability systems, and a lack of urgency and coordination among past and current leaders of the city and MPD.

For those with suggestions, here’s MDHR’s public comment form to submit suggestions.

Props to the Minnesota Reformer and author Michael Friedman for flagging this opportunity. Check out Friedman’s opinion piece: “The deeper implications of the human rights report on Minneapolis police.”

The MDHR report could affect city and county prosecutions, given that police often are called as witnesses in court.

According to MDHR, bodycam footage shows Minneapolis police using racist and misogynist language, Friedman writes. Police reports have been “inconsistent with bodycam footage, which has led prosecutors to dismiss cases.”

“If local juries can’t or shouldn’t believe cops on the stand, prosecutors will have a harder time winning convictions and public safety will be harmed,” Friedman said.

As an aside, this blog wrote recently about troubles at the Minneapolis Police Oversight Commission, the latest Minneapolis police reform to flounder. Members were frustrated with their role. Members were leaving; the nine-member commission was down to five.

Just got an email that the June meeting was cancelled. This year, three of the Commission’s six monthly meetings have been cancelled.

Research on Chicago PD suggests police misconduct, often portrayed as “bad apples” is a group phenomenon

Research on the Chicago Police Department (CPD) could have application in Minneapolis.

CPD is under a a consent decree requiring supervisors to identify officers with potentially problematic behavior, according to a report by WBEZ/Chicago. That system includes tracking “uses of force, arrests, injuries and deaths in police custody” and other metrics.

It seems just looking at behaviors of individual cops isn’t enough.

Northwestern University sociologist Papachristos and other researchers used social-networking data and other techniques to analyze police data over a 50-year span. It found 160 “’potential crews’ of deviant, even criminal, cops” that operate “in some way like street gangs.”

Officers in these crews represented a disproportionate number of “use-of-force complaints, city payouts from litigation and shootings by cops,” the study said.

“Papachristos said CPD could use the analysis’s methodology to develop an early warning tool enabling the department to break apart cop crews before they severely set back the department’s crime-fighting efforts,” the story said.

Full story here.

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