State report details bias in Minneapolis Police Department

Apr 27, 2022, 3:22 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a press conference Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Minneapo...

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey speaks during a press conference Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn. A state investigation launched after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer has determined that the Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in a pattern of race discrimination. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

(Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An extensive state investigation launched after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020 found that the Minneapolis Police Department has engaged in a pattern of race discrimination for at least the past decade.

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

Here’s a look at some of the key findings and recommendations.

PATTERNS AND PRACTICES

The agency found that the city and police department have engaged in a “pattern or practice” of race discrimination in violation of state law. Its report detailed evidence showing disparities in how officers use force, stop, search, arrest and cite people of color, particularly Black people, compared to white people in similar circumstances.

POLICE CULTURE

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

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

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

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

USE OF FORCE

The report found that officers use “higher rates of more severe force” against Black residents than white people in similar circumstances. Since 2010, 13 of the 14 people killed by Minneapolis officers were people of color or Indigenous. Those groups comprise about 42% of the city’s population, but 93% of the city’s officer-involved deaths since 2010. And while only about 19% of the city’s residents are Black, 63% of all use-of-force incidents were against Black people.

TRAFFIC STOPS

The report found that Minneapolis officers are more likely to stop vehicles with people of color and Indigenous individuals, often for minor offenses. When stopped for either moving violations or no genuine reason at all, officers were more likely to ask them than white people if they had guns or drugs, and to search their vehicles without legal justification. And it said officers are more likely to use force against Black drivers in traffic stops, and to arrest them, than white motorists in similar circumstances.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Minneapolis police improperly, excessively and disproportionately cite Black people for disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process, the report said. Community members told investigators it often happens “when officers are annoyed with or displeased with a community member’s reaction or response to a police officer’s presence.” Often the charges are dropped because they likely are unjustified, it said, while white people are more likely to get leniency. And it said the financial and other collateral costs of unjustified citations to Black people “can be substantial, and at times, devastating.”

COVERT SOCIAL MEDIA

The review found that police used “covert, or fake, social media accounts to surveil and engage Black individuals, Black organizations, and elected officials unrelated to criminal activity, without a public safety objective.” That included efforts to falsely engage with Black individuals and groups, including the NAACP and Urban League, often using “language to further racial stereotypes associated with Black people, especially Black women.” Police also used covert accounts to criticize elected officials, including an unnamed City Council member and an unnamed state elected official.

In contrast, the report said, officers did not track and surveil white people in cases unrelated to criminal activity, and did not use covert social media accounts to track white supremacist or white nationalist groups.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The city and police department don’t need to wait for the planned consent decree that the two sides will negotiate, the report said. The Human Rights Department proposed three immediate steps to take. The first was a series of measures to improve accountability and oversight, including a reset of performance expectations, better investigations of alleged misconduct, and better coaching of officers in need of improvement. Second, the report urged the department to quickly overhaul its training to shift from a paramilitary to a public service approach. And it said leaders must “communicate honestly” when critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings arise.

___

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Police investigating fire at Colorado pregnancy center

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A weekend fire at a Christian pregnancy center in north-central Colorado is being investigated as a possible arson, police in Longmont said. The fire at Life Choices was reported at 3:17 a.m. Saturday, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and said abortion laws would be decided by […]
17 hours ago
The Very Rev. Kris Stubna, rector of St. Paul Cathedral Parish, preaches on the topic of abortion a...
Associated Press

After Roe’s demise, clergy lead faithful in praise, laments

Praise and lament for the overturning of abortion rights filled sacred spaces this weekend as clergy across the U.S. rearranged worship plans or rewrote sermons to provide their religious context — and competing messages — about the historic moment. Abortion is a visceral issue for deeply divided religious Americans. Some are sad or angry in […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Poisonous bite leads German police to farm with 110 snakes

BERLIN (AP) — Police in Germany said Sunday they discovered more than 110 dangerous snakes on a farm after a woman who lived there sought medical treatment for a poisonous bite. The 35-year-old woman drove to a hospital in Salzgitter, near Hannover, early Sunday and told doctors there that one of her rattlesnakes bit her […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Average US gasoline price drops 4 cents to $5.05 per gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline fell by 4 cents per gallon in the past two weeks to $5.05 for regular grade, it was reported Sunday. It was the first drop in nine weeks and came with a drop in oil prices amid deepening global inflation fears, industry analyst Trilby […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Newspaper: Oklahoma gun deaths rose as firearms access grew

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gun deaths in Oklahoma have increased since a “permitless carry” law allowing people over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit or training went into effect in 2019, according to a newspaper’s review of data. The Oklahoman analyzed state medical examiner data and found that Oklahoma has […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Bosnian Serb member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia Milorad Dodik watches military ex...
Associated Press

Bosnian Serb leader prays for Trump’s return, praises Putin

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — The leader of Bosnia’s Serbs said Sunday he hoped former U.S. President Donald Trump would return to power and that the Serbs would “wait for appropriate global circumstances” to reach for their goal of seceding from Bosnia, which he called an “unsustainable state.” Milorad Dodik, who was a rare European official […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
State report details bias in Minneapolis Police Department