State Report Details Minneapolis Police Department Bias | Radio WGN 720


ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — A thorough state investigation launched after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd has found the Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination for at least the past decade .

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced Wednesday that it will negotiate a court-binding agreement called a consent decree with the city of Minneapolis to address the long list of issues identified in the report.

Here is an overview of some of the key findings and recommendations.

MODELS AND PRACTICES

The agency found that the city and police department engaged in a “pattern or practice” of racial discrimination in violation of state law. His report details evidence showing disparities in how officers use force, stop, search, arrest and cite people of color, especially black people, compared to white people in similar circumstances.

POLICE CULTURE

The report says race-based policing in Minneapolis is primarily the result of police force culture. Officers, supervisors and trainers “receive deficient training, which emphasizes a paramilitary approach to policing that leads officers to unnecessarily escalate encounters or use inappropriate levels of force,” it said. he declared.

The department’s accountability systems are “insufficient and ineffective in holding officers accountable for misconduct”, the report said. But he said former and current city and police leaders failed to act, allowing an aggressive culture to fester.

The report says the department maintains a culture in which officers “consistently use racist, misogynistic and disrespectful language and are rarely held accountable for it.”

“Without fundamental changes in organizational culture, reforming MPD policies, procedures and training will be meaningless,” the report said.

USE OF FORCE

The report found that officers use “higher rates of harsher force” against black residents than whites in similar circumstances. Since 2010, 13 of the 14 people killed by Minneapolis officers have been people of color or Indigenous people. These groups make up about 42% of the city’s population, but 93% of city officer deaths since 2010. And while only about 19% of city residents are black, 63% of all resort incidents to force were against blacks. people.

TRAFFIC STOPS

The report found that Minneapolis officers are more likely to stop vehicles with people of color and Indigenous people, often for minor violations. When stopped for travel violations or no valid reason, officers were more likely than whites to ask them if they had guns or drugs, and to search their vehicles without legal justification. And he said officers are more likely to use force against black drivers during traffic stops and stop them than white motorists in similar circumstances.

DISORDERED CONDUCT

Minneapolis police are inappropriately, excessively and disproportionately citing black people for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process, the report said. Community members told investigators that this often happens “when officers are annoyed or upset with a community member’s reaction or response to a police officer’s presence.” Often charges are dropped because they are likely unjustified, he said, while white people are more likely to win clemency. And he said the financial and other collateral costs of wrongful citations to black people “can be substantial and sometimes devastating.”

SOCIAL MEDIA COVERED

The review found that police used “secret or fake social media accounts to monitor and engage black individuals, black organizations and elected officials unrelated to criminal activity, without a public safety objective.” This included efforts to falsely engage with black individuals and groups, including the NAACP and the Urban League, often using “language to deepen racial stereotypes associated with black people, especially black women.” Police also used secret accounts to criticize elected officials, including an anonymous city council member and an anonymous state elected official.

By contrast, according to the report, officers did not track and monitor white people in matters unrelated to criminal activity, and did not use secret social media accounts to track white supremacists or nationalist groups. whites.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The city and the police department do not need to wait for the anticipated consent decree that the two parties will negotiate, according to the report. The Department of Human Rights has suggested three immediate steps to take. The first was a series of measures to improve accountability and oversight, including resetting performance expectations, better investigations of suspected misconduct, and better coaching of officers in need of improvement. Second, the report urges the ministry to quickly review its training to shift from a paramilitary to a public service approach. And he said leaders must “communicate honestly” when critical incidents such as shootings involving officers occur.

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Find full AP coverage of the death of George Floyd at: https://apnews.com/hub/death-of-george-floyd

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