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Minneapolis Police Will No Longer Handle Own Misconduct Cases

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  • Minneapolis Police Will No Longer Handle Own Misconduct Cases



    The Minneapolis Police Department will no longer handle investigations of police misconduct internally, instead handing cases involving officer-involved shootings and other critical incidents over to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

    Chief Janee Harteau on Wednesday said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will take over the most serious internal investigations.

    "This is about perception and public trust and being in line with SOPs across the state," Harteau said. "Although we didn't necessarily have specific conversations about this, there were concerns by members of this council and members of the community as to why Minneapolis continues to investigate their own critical incidents."

    Yet, later on Wednesday night, Gov. Mark Dayton's office said not so fast. In an unusually testy statement, a spokesperson for the governor said Harteau unilaterally announced the arrangement without notifying the public safety commissioner, Dayton, or the governor's staff. In fact, the press secretary said the course of action is one "the governor considers extremely inappropriate."

    "Given this turn of events, and until all parties reach agreement on this matter, the arrangement announced by the Minneapolis chief of police is inoperative," the statement read.

    In response, Minneapolis Police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington said Harteau is "perplexed" by Dayton's reaction.

    "Arrangements had already been made with the BCA to handle critical incidents beginning Dec. 16, 2012," Barrington said.

    Harteau also talked about her Citizens Advisory Council, which released its 2014 action plan to build a strong relationship with the community.


    Every one of the past 5 Minneapolis police chiefs has been concerned about leaks, which can sometimes compromise an investigation or be simply embarrassing. Now, Harteau is asking all Minneapolis Police Department personnel to sign a document some have likened to a loyalty oath.

    When Harteau announced MPD would no longer investigate its own critical incidents -- such as the police killing Terrance Franklin this summer.

    "This is all about public trust," Harteau said. "This is about perception and public trust."

    Yet, within the halls of the MPD, people were talking about the special order sent out last week regarding the release of information. The department was told "only authorized personnel are allowed to communicate with non-MPD personnel," like the media.

    The penalty for leaking could be discharge, and possibly even prosecution. All MPD employees will be required to sign the order in front of their supervisor.

    In the memo, Harteau wrote that leaks have been "detrimental to the department over the years and more recently in major events of the past year." The department did not specify which leaks Harteau was referencing.

    Yet, the media learned that Franklin's DNA was found on an officer's submachine gun via a leak, and that he was shot 10 times, months before the official explanation confirmed those facts. The Minneapolis officers who used racial slurs in Green Bay were also identified through a leak. The Fox 9 News investigation into a liquor license investigation that was halted relied on off-the-record sources -- and the chief wasn't happy about that one either.

    There can be no doubt that such a requirement could have a chilling effect at City Hall, especially within the department. One officer told Fox 9 Reporter Tom Lyden, '"Lyden, do you think I'm going to talk to you and possibly be fired or face prosecution under Data Practices? Think again."

    It is true that Harteau is more than willing to be open with the things she wishes to be open about, as is the case with her council.

    "It's about sharing information and understanding what the issues are," she said.

    Yet, the portrait begs the question whether that's really transparency or just business as usual. Minneapolis police declined an interview request regarding the special order; however, a spokesperson said the effort is geared to maintain the integrity of active investigations. Even so, police have not offered a single example of how a leak jeopardized an ongoing case.

    The police union also did not respond to numerous calls for comment.


    Training: New recruits and current patrol officers will receive 4 hours of customer service training that focuses on listening, de-escalation and building trust.

    Accountability: The focus will be on creating dialog and an opportunity for informative talks by scheduling quarterly meetings with MPD supervisors to visit neighborhood churches of all denominations throughout the city.

    Hiring and Recruitment: The MPD will be refreshing the recruitment process and adding a community member to the interview process for new hires.

    Community Engagement and Outreach: The focus will be on informing the community on how and why the MPD serves the public. Often times, the public does not understand the process, procedures and policies of the MPD and by explaining how things work, the public will be better informed.

    Read more: Minneapolis police will no longer handle own misconduct cases - KMSP-TV

  • #2
    Sounds like Harteau has made an enemy with Tom Lyden/Fox9.
    Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned


    • #3
      I have a question.

      Why are cases of police misconduct and other related investigations not immediately referred to the MN POST Board? We all know that the POST board issues a licenses, therefore do they not have the ability to revoke the license as well? If so, then why not a state wide "Internal Affairs" group inside the POST Board who handles these cases state wide?

      According to POST's own website and bullet points -
      Function of the Board

      To implement the board’s mission, the board and its staff perform the following functions:

      - Administer a professional licensing program, which includes examination development and administration, licensure, and re-licensure.
      - Develop, coordinate, and approve continuing education programs for peace officers and part-time peace officers.
      - Work cooperatively with law enforcement trainers, educators and practitioners to develop in-service training programs.
      - Help offset local governments’ expenses for peace officer training through administration of a reimbursement program.
      - Develop learning objectives for and certify the Professional Peace Officer Education programs at participating colleges and universities.
      - Provide technical assistance to colleges, universities, law enforcement agencies and other groups involved in the practice of law enforcement and law enforcement education.
      - Conduct studies and research projects that relate to peace officer education and the practice of law enforcement.
      - Establish and implement professional policy standards of conduct for agencies.
      - Process allegations of professional misconduct and the unauthorized practice of law enforcement.
      - Prepare and transmit annually to the Governor and legislature a report of activities.

      Again, I'm just asking the question.


      • #4
        Generally it makes more sense for cops to investigate cops. They know what it's like to work the street and what it's really like to make a split second decision. It makes me shudder to think a panel of community members would be the ones reviewing force or other incidents...
        In Valor there is hope


        • #5
          Originally posted by SCSU74 View Post
          Generally it makes more sense for cops to investigate cops. They know what it's like to work the street and what it's really like to make a split second decision. It makes me shudder to think a panel of community members would be the ones reviewing force or other incidents...
          Ok, very valid point and understandable.

          I guess my thought was having an investigations division within the POST Board. Those investigators within that division would be from various departments who were on the street at one time or another and have that experience and understanding that you mentioned. I guess someone who has put his or her 15-20 years on the street and who wants to move into a different role.


          • #6
            Most complaints filed with department's internal affairs unit are typically procedural related, NOT license related. Meaning you are allege to have violated your specific department's policy/procedure manual, however you have not violated any issues regarding your POST license. Therefore the POST board has no business investigating such matters.

            Make sense?


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