Minneapolis employees found to be engaged in racist policy

The Minneapolis Police Department regularly engages in various forms of racist policing, fails to hold officers accountable for misconduct, and has used fake social media accounts to target people. Blacks and organizations, according to a damned investigation released on wednesday by the state Department of Human Rights.

The department had a “culture of aversion to oversight and accountability,” and city and department leaders failed to act with the “needed urgency, coordination, and intent” to fix the problems. its subject, the investigation concluded.

Minneapolis police have been under intense surveillance since cell phone cameras captured the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a police officer during an arrest on May 25, 2020. The state’s human rights investigation began about a week later. The department is also under a similar investigation by the federal Justice Department.

Both investigations can lead to consent decrees, agreements that are overseen by supervisors and enforced by the courts. Such agreements often include a long list of required changes, standards and processes. The state’s human rights department is consulting the public on what such consent decree should include.

Its investigation found that officers prevented, searched, arrested, fined, used force, and killed Black and Indigenous people at a higher rate than whites. Although Negroes make up about 19% of the population, over 10 years of data, 63% of the cases where officers recorded use of force were against Blacks, the report said. report said.

Rebecca Lucero, the state’s human rights commissioner, said at a news conference the department does not have enough data to look at the treatment of other racial and ethnic groups.

Investigators reviewed 700 hours of body camera footage, finding that officers and supervisors used racist, misleading, and disrespectful language toward the suspect, witness, bystanders – and to each other. The report provides a complete list of the profanities officers used against women and Blacks.

This disrespect was so obvious, local prosecutors said it was difficult to show the full-body camera video to the jury, according to the report: “When MPD officers shouted words, the report said. obscene to community members, which makes it difficult for prosecutors to do their job.”

The officers used “secret social media accounts,” which the report said were “not related to any actual or alleged criminal activity,” to observe and engage with elected officials, black individuals and organizations, sometimes posing as community members to participate or comment. In one case, the report said, an officer posed as a Black resident to send a message critical of the NAACP.

Mr. Floyd was killed after two rookie officers answered a call that he had tried to use a fake $20 bill at a convenience store. Mr. Floyd refused to board the team car. A field training officer, Derek Chauvin, and his partner arrived to provide backup support. Mr. Chauvin forced Mr. Floyd to the sidewalk and knelt on his neck for more than 9 minutes, while his partner stood guard and two recruits helped to bring Mr. Floyd down.

Chauvin was found guilty of murder and pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations. Three other officers were found guilty of failing to intervene or provide medical assistance and still face state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.

While field training officers like Mr Chauvin have great influence over recruits, the department does not provide ongoing guidance to them, the investigation found – an oversight it said. influence policy based on race.” It cites a 2020 case in which a training officer allowed a cadet to search for an unarmed black woman, but said the search of a drunk white man admitted to having The knife in the pocket will waste the intern’s time.

The investigation found that the department still failed to empower officials to intervene when they found something was amiss. On the first day of training in 2021, the report said, recruits were told that “compliance was immediate and unquestionably in order.”

That attitude waned — MPD officers demanded unquestioning compliance during “even the most trivial interactions,” community members told investigators. More than 2,000 residents were interviewed.

Since that academy class, the department has begun peer-to-peer intervention training for all officers.

Mayor Jacob Frey and the Police Department have introduced numerous policy changes since Floyd’s death, including a ban on chokeholds and strangulation as well as an update to the department’s use of force policy.

But officers reported that in some cases they had to wait a year or more to hear details. In the case of the new use of force policy, which included new restrictions on restrictions, investigators found that officers were provided with only a 15-minute “narrated PowerPoint presentation” about the change.

The department lacks top-down accountability measures, investigators found. They said more than a third of officers referred for training, the least severe form of intervention, did not receive it, and supervisors did not flag excessive use of force.

The report cites a 2017 case in which an officer hit an unarmed 14-year-old with a flashlight in his bedroom and knocked him unconscious, all because the teen didn’t get up enough. quickly when ordered. A supervisor approved the officer’s actions.

The report said the units responsible for investigating misconduct often failed to review body camera footage or give officers respect for witnesses. It says the department’s internal affairs unit improperly handled a quarter of the complaints, while the Police Behavioral Review Office, which includes civil investigators, mishandled half of the complaints. complaints it investigates.

As of midday Wednesday, the Police Department and Mayor Frey’s office had not yet responded to a request for comment.

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