Minneapolis City Council approves police plan after human rights investigation
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Changes are coming to the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) after the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. This comes after human rights investigation into the MPD that was launched after George Floyd's murder.
The City Council approved the City of Minneapolis' court-enforceable settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by an 11-0 vote on Friday. The settlement outlines policy, budget and training requirements the city and MPD will undertake, a news release says. (You can find the full settlement agreement at the bottom of the page.)
The city said in a news release the agreement "lays out a roadmap for achieving non-discriminatory policing and to better support community safety." The settlement agreement has a four-year term and may then be reviewed on an annual basis until the City of Minneapolis is compliant.
"This settlement represents a roadmap for greater accountability, transparency, better training and police wellness," Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins said in a statement. "We have begun the work to implement changes in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ findings and to restructure our Office of Community Safety and how we respond to public safety issues. We have much more work to do. I thank City leaders, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the City Attorney’s Office and all others that worked diligently to bring this agreement to fruition, as well as my Council colleagues for agreeing to advance the necessary work and greater oversight our city needs."
The Minneapolis City Council on Thursday and Friday morning met in a closed-door meeting to discuss the human rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched an investigation in early June 2020, just days after Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. Nearly two years later, in late April 2022, the Department of Human Rights announced the findings of the investigation, which concluded the police department and the City of Minneapolis had engaged in a pattern of racist discrimination.
"Minneapolis community members deserve to be treated with humanity. This court-enforceable agreement provides the framework for lawful, non-discriminatory policing, reduces unnecessary dangers for officers, and results in better public safety for Minneapolis," Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said in a statement. "I am grateful to Mayor Frey, Chief O’Hara, City Council, and City and MPD staff for their commitment to set a path towards a more just future for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in Minneapolis."
A court-enforceable agreement is a legal agreement that is submitted to the court after a settlement is reached. Once approved by the court, the agreement is binding and enforceable on all parties through ongoing oversight by the court, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights said in a news release.
The city is also working with federal authorities on a separate investigation by the Department of Justice. That investigation will also result in a second, separate agreement.
Details on the settlement agreement
Here's a breakdown of the "key elements" in the settlement agreement, per the City of Minneapolis news release:
Accountability, oversight and transparency:
- Creates a new MPD Review Panel, chaired by the Chief or their designee, to review, analyze, and assess MPD’s enforcement practices.The panel will review uses of force, traffic stops, pedestrian stops, discretionary searches, citations, and arrests to determine if they are tactically sound or reflect a need for policy change.
- The panel will review uses of force, traffic stops, pedestrian stops, discretionary searches, citations, and arrests to determine if they are tactically sound or reflect a need for policy change.
- Requires data collection during certain officer interactions to advance non-discriminatory policing.
- Directs significant investment to new IT infrastructure, including new data collection, management, and analysis systems to improve accountability, transparency, and public safety.
- Requires a new implementation unit within MPD to guide development of policies and training practices.
Use of force:
- Establishes new "levels" to more clearly define reportable uses of force.
- Except for in critical incidents, requires each officer who uses level 2 or 3 reportable use of force, and each officer who is physically present and witnessed the use of force, to accurately and thoroughly record all information in the required systems for each use of reportable force.
- Requires a supervisor to respond to the scene if significant force is used, which is based off the new levels of reported force.
- Requires officer who uses reportable force to document the reason for the initial interaction.
- Prohibits officers from sharing information with another officer for the purpose of creating or producing force reports and documentation.
Stops, searches and seizures:
- Requires that, when feasible, officers state the basis for a stop on their body worn camera upon initiating a stop.
- Requires officers, who have completed an investigatory stop or enforcement related contact that does not result in a citation or arrest, to provide a card or document with their first and last name, and the incident number, to the individual or individuals involved in the interaction.
- Requires MPD to assess what additional resources are necessary to provide the support services available to MPD employees and comport with mental health professional standards, and develop a plan, including a timeline for implementation, to prioritize and address the needs identified through the assessment.
- Requires the City to conduct an equipment, technology, and facilities audit so officers have the resources they need.
- Provides increased access to confidential counseling services and mental health supports.
- Adds more training requirements for officers, supervisors, investigators and field training officers (FTOs), among others – including training officer reviews completed by their direct trainees.
- Requires regular maintenance of and updates to an annual training plan responsive to various needs assessments including technology, health and wellness, and non-technology resources.The training plan will consider changes in the law, MPD policy, and to the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training requirements, as well as new applicable court decisions or litigation.
- The training plan will consider changes in the law, MPD policy, and to the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training requirements, as well as new applicable court decisions or litigation.
- Adds new standards for key training refreshers for all MPD officers on priority areas including use of force, culturally specific interactions, body camera policy compliance, and more.
- Requires annual instructor performance reviews that include classroom observations, feedback from external instructors where appropriate, trainee and peer review feedback, and in-person meetings with instructors to discuss performance and areas of improvement.
- Requires revisions to policies and training related to traffic stops and searches.
- Promotes diversity among instructors within the MPD Training Division.
- MPD will establish a public-facing webpage in multiple languages to receive comments from community members about MPD’s policies and practices.
- MPD will hold public engagement sessions on the department’s Mission, Vision, Values, Goals; policies regarding non-discriminatory policing and impartial policing; policies regarding use of force; and policies regarding stops, searches, and arrests.
- Prior to any changes to the Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, non-discriminatory policing and impartial policing, use of force, and stops, searches, and arrests policies, MPD will receive online comments from community members for at least 45 calendar days.
Here's the full, 144-page settlement: