Mpls. police misconduct board is closer to an overhaul

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 12, 2012 - 10:14 PM

Plan to change way Minneapolis handles police complaints has foes.

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howaboutthisSep. 12, 1211:39 PM

A study was done of all complaints filed by citizens with the Internal Affairs Unit from 1996 to 2006. I think it involved 994 complaints, and two were sustained by Internal Affairs. This is the group of investigators that will not handle 75% of the cases filed with the CRA. What are the members of the Public Safety Committee smoking?

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mattyjpSep. 12, 1211:41 PM

John Hoff, who writes the Johnny Northside blog, said, "I come as a resident who says thank God for police," This is the same John Hoff that wrote a book on dumpster diving where he wrote,"Cops are nothing but pigs with badges." Guess he only likes the police when he's not breaking the law.

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breezybobSep. 12, 1211:50 PM

We've seen recent cases of clear police malfeasance and the officers involved are not held accountable. The cops can not police themselves and this proposed board restructuing is a joke.

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rshacklefordSep. 13, 1212:33 AM

"Under the plan, seven police and two civilian investigators will be assigned to investigate misconduct complaints. Their findings will be evaluated by a panel of two police officers and two civilians." ---- So, each complaint will be a panel stalemate decided in favor of the cop by the chief? The jerk who kicked the already subdued guy (laying on the ground) needs to ready his application for putting toothpaste caps on tubes for the remainder of his employable years. You have to wonder who they really protect and serve when the chips are down. Not even a video recording can get one of these thugs fired.

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mattyjpSep. 13, 12 1:07 AM

I predict what will happen is that the police misconduct will get worse, there will be numerous civil rights violations, numerous lawsuits, huge payouts, and the FBI will step in and take over. Unless we get a police chief who clearly draws the line, and makes it clear misconduct will not be tolerated, nothing will change.

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mgresistSep. 13, 12 1:09 AM

This is not an overhaul, it is a wholesale gutting of civilian oversight of police. The CRA was formed 20 years ago after the Minneapolis police incinerated to death the elderly couple Lloyd Smalley and Lillian Weise in a wrong address raid. Civilian oversight is essential because while police are paid from out tax dollars, they have the permission of the state to use force in the course of their work. Civilian oversight provides a counterbalance to the potential abuse of that permission. Extensive studies and ample anecdotal evidence show that police departments cannot reliably police themselves. The CRA has not lived up to its promise, but this is primarily because the city has consistently failed to adequately fund it and has progressively weakened it through ordinance and policy changes. Further, the real issue is the failure of the police chief to discipline sustained CRA cases--an issue that will not be addressed by this so-called overhaul. What happened today is a sad legacy to the only positive that came from the deaths of Smalley and Weise. The city staff that pushed for this and the city council members that voted for it should be ashamed.

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naturesgoodSep. 13, 12 2:47 AM

Council member Barbara Johnson has the wish she made many years ago when she said that police brutality could be handled through lawsuits. No one in his right mind would go to the police for help in resolving a complaint against them. The Mpls police are known to retaliate. The revamp flies in the face of common sense and is really not intended to solve any problems but appears to be another way to avoid disciplining police. The discipline rate up to now suggests that police are divine creatures who simply don't make mistakes. I abhor the corruption and stupidity of the people on City Council who voted for this. They are apparently blind to the consequences of their actions, which will have a disastrous influence on many innocent lives, including those of their own children and grandchildren.

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breezybobSep. 13, 12 7:16 AM

Thanks Strib for allowing these comments. It's pretty clear public confidence and respect for the MPD is low. The high incidence of lying and thuggery by MPD can't be denied. I think the time has come for requiring body cameras on all MPD officers. There should be a requirement that any and all charges brought by MPD be supported by conclusive audio or video evidence. The word of an MPD officer alone isn't worth beans.

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cavellSep. 13, 12 7:17 AM

if you behave, you will not meet up with a cop. how can they have any effect on your life in that scenario?

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cbsx12Sep. 13, 12 8:24 AM

"The proposal came despite near total opposition from citizens who addressed the committee". I'm beginning to believe that there isn't anywhere in the USA that the government, whether it be local, county, state or federal, actually represents, serves or strives for what is in the best interest of their constituents. Stick a fork in us, I think we're already over the cliff.

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