Minneapolis seeks public comments on police contract negotiations, appointment of city’s first Community Safety Commissioner

In this post:

  • City of Minneapolis holds community listening sessions on police union contract negotiations
  • Minneapolis City Council to hold public hearing Tuesday on Cedric Alexander’s nomination as the city’s first Community Safety Commissioner
  • Unity Church hosts concert to support Indigenous rights and stop the Huber Lumber Mill Project
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News: Historic vote on blood quantum rule, Marlene Helgemo walks on, MPD Settlement Agreement expected by Fall

In this post:

  • Minnesota Chippewa Tribe has historic vote to stop using colonial ‘blood quantum rules’ to define membership
  • Marlene Helgemo walks on
  • City of Minneapolis, MN Dept. of Human Rights, announce principles, timeframe on Settlement Agreement to address police department’s pattern of racial discrimination
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The roller coaster that is Minneapolis police reform

Let’s take a look at the ups and downs of proposed Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) reform and where things stand now. Bottom line: The Consent Decree being negotiated by the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights seems the best hope for accountability.

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Opportunities to learn about, shape, the Minneapolis Police Department’s consent decree

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (DHR) is working with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) to develop a consent decree — a court-enforced, legally binding agreement to ensure compliance with reforms. This follows DHR’s April report finding the city and MPD were engaging in a pattern or practice of race discrimination, in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

There are several upcoming opportunities to learn more about how the process works and to have a say in what you think the consent decree should include.

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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
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Mayor Frey expresses ‘outrage’ at MPD human rights violations … why is he surprised?

A nearly two-year investigation has found probable cause that the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) have engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory, race-based policing, violating the Minnesota Human Rights Act, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (DHR) said Wednesday.

The report’s major findings said:

  • “MPD officers, supervisors, and field training officers receive deficient training, which emphasizes a paramilitary approach to policing that results in officers unnecessarily escalating encounters or using inappropriate levels of force.”
  • “Accountability systems are insufficient and ineffective at holding officers accountable for misconduct. … Instances of police misconduct are not properly investigated, not timely addressed, and officers are not held consistently accountable.”
  • “Former and current City and MPD leaders have not collectively acted with the urgency, coordination, and intentionality necessary to address racial disparities in policing to improve public safety and increase community trust.”

Addressing those issues alone is insufficient, the report said. “Without fundamental organizational culture changes, reforming MPD’s policies, procedures, and trainings will be meaningless.”

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‘After Action Report’ for Minneapolis’ response to the George Floyd uprising lacks perspective, credibility

Police protect the Third Precinct on the first night of protests over George Floyd’s murder.

The After Action Report on Minneapolis’ response to the George Floyd uprising, released last week, pounds lumps on city leaders for their lack of preparation and leadership, but mostly spares the Minneapolis Police Department from criticism.

The report fails to paint a full picture. It centers voices of police and city officials, not residents. It only looks at the public expression of anger during the short period of the uprising; it ignores police violence over many years that built up that anger.

Most of the blame falls to the city. It didn’t ask the consultants to look at context, and context is everything. It asked the consultants such things as how the city could better prepare “for future civil disturbances” rather than how to prevent them.

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Shuttles to Line 3 resistance camps and other news

In this blog:

  • Shuttle service being created for front-line water protector camps
  • Minneapolis police spokesperson works on the Northern Lights Task Force protecting Line 3; City Council passes ordinance opposing Line 3
  • Treaties aren’t broken, they’re not being honored
  • Hubbard County law enforcement blockades water protector encampment
  • Economics cancel Byhalia Pipeline
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U.S. Justice Dept. to investigate Minneapolis police practices, culture

The U.S. Justice Department today announced a sweeping probe of the Minneapolis Police Department, investigating its practices, culture, and use of force to see if there is a pattern of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.

Sounds impressive, but we’ve heard this reform story before, nationally and locally. Problems persist.

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Ways to engage in dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department

City charter amendment would replace it with a Department of Public Safety and Violence Prevention

Black Visions and Reclaim the Block have led efforts to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with community-based public safety measures. Here’s what their organizers say you need to know about next steps and how to stay engaged. Continue reading