Minneapolis residents voice opinions to new police oversight commission

The Community Commission On Police Oversight was formed about a year ago. But this is the first chance the public has had a chance to tell the commission how they think policing is going in Minneapolis.

"I am not paying for cops to destroy the only possessions of the unhoused in my city, and I'm not paying them to intimidate students exercising their right to free speech. When adults can't do their job properly, they face discipline, not hand-holding. At this time, this is all this body can provide. We need community control of the police, and we need it now," said Minneapolis resident Joe Yates.

The purpose of the meeting was to get residents to voice their opinions on the MPD's policies, rules, and practices.

The commission replaces the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, which was criticized for being ineffective but the new commission has also faced criticisms for a backlog of complaints, lack of training for commissioners, and a lack of public transparency.

RELATED: Minneapolis residents circulate petition for ‘civilian police accountability commission’

The hearing is part of the state's consent decree with the city after an investigation found the MPD engaged in a pattern of racial discrimination.

"It's been over 4 years since the civil unrest. Thankfully, we do not have the same police force we did in 2020. While they are not perfect, they deserve to be recognized for their hard work and progress. We also need to recognize the sacrifice and trauma they've endured to bring peace back to our community," said Minneapolis resident Tim Peterson.

"We definitely feel the CCPO has been a failure in its first year. It just hasn't done hardly any of the things it was created to do or that you wish to do," said Dave Bicking of Communities United Against Police Brutality.

"I really like the idea of this committee. So much so, I would want to do this job. This sounds amazing, and I'm sure a lot of you had the same energy going into this. Unfortunately, I am also seeing a committee that is ineffective and that makes me sad," said Minneapolis resident Alex Alley-Grommesh.

The commission's duties include making recommendations related to MPD policies and reviewing complaints.

Their next meeting is scheduled for June 3.