Minneapolis Police Department

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Black officers become the police they wanted to see growing up

Alice White (l) with Blair Anderson

Among the nearly 60 recommendations of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force is the need to foster stronger relationships between police and the community. The president established the group in mid-December. Locally, some police officers have long recognized the value of such positive police-community interactions.

Well before recent police shootings involving Black males in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the task force’s March 2 report “[called] upon law enforcement to embrace the mindset that they are part of the community [and] put in place programs designed to promote positive interactions between police and communities.”

Continue Reading →

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The Keefe Report has been released into the open

Yet “they” continue to try to bury what can no longer be buried
 

On May 21, 2014, the District Court for Hennepin County and the State of Minnesota ordered released for review by the general public a 4,000-page report reviewing the six-year-old lawsuit filed by then Lt. Michael Keefe against the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) on behalf of himself and, by extension, the former Black Police Officers Association. The report’s suppressed content is sending shockwaves through our community and City Hall, as the light of day brings curing to a cancer in our body politic. The 4,000 pages verify what I have long written about Lt. Keefe and the MPD’s Violent Offenders Task Force (see my June 5, 2014 column), and of how the events from 2004-2009 helped destroy the Black Police Officers Association. During that period, five members of the Association (“The Mill City 5,” Officers Harris, Arrodondo, Adams, Edwards — no relation to this columnist — and Hamilton), settled for $750,000, leaving $1.3 million on the table. The lone hero within City Government was Councilman Ralph Remmington, steadfast in support of the Black Police Officers Association and Lt. Keefe. Continue Reading →

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Keefe file now open to the public

Sgt. Michael Keefe waits his day in court
 

“A profile in courage and integrity: Lt. Michael Keefe,” is the headline of my August 29, 2007 column. Lt. Keefe “would tolerate neither racial animus and discrimination nor departmental abuses under his command.” The closing two sentences of that column were, “Will the mayor and MPD chief act with the same courage and integrity? How they act will reveal the real heart of this administration and its police department.”

Retaliation included demotions and transfers, despite significant performance and command ratings. Although I had never talked with Lt. Keefe, I wrote several columns about this and filed a civil rights complaint against the Minneapolis Police Department and then-Mayor RT Rybak and then-Police Chief Tim Dolan. Continue Reading →

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Youth Coordinating Board lauded for making Downtown Mpls safer

By Jerry Freeman

Senior Editor

 

The joint goal of the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) and the Downtown Council last summer was “to interrupt a troubling behavior cycle of disruptive and disengaged youth” in the city’s downtown area. “The results are more than impressive,” noted Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau at a February 13 morning ceremony at Minneapolis City Hall, pointing to a 42 percent reduction in juvenile crime in the downtown area and an eight percent decrease in overall violent crime last year. “There [also] was an 11 percent decrease in “late night” violent crime,” she added. Harteau credits the work of the YCB, who partnered with local large corporations and community groups “to connect the troubled teens to opportunities. They promoted better behavior guidelines…offering the teens passes and bus tokens to help them get home safely.”

Sixteen YCB staff members were presented with the Chief’s Award of Merit Certificate during the City Hall ceremony: Akim Anderson, James Everett, Bryon Hawkins, Terrall Lewis, Tameika Williams, Shane Zahn, Latoya Balogun, Johnell Hallman, Wendell Johnson, Dave Marcotte, Darrell Young, Evan Barnett, Tangene Hayslett, Sarah Klouda, Jernell McLane and Amged Yusuf. Continue Reading →

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Violence grips downtown

One dead, three wounded in night of terror
 
When shots rang out around 11:53 pm, Saturday night, November 2, 2013, at the Epic nightclub in downtown Minneapolis (or 1 am; reports vary as this is written just two days after the shooting) the crowd of over 2,500 partygoers disbursed in panic. The concert featured Yo Gotti, a prominent and legendary rapper. Because of violence associated with his concertgoers, the Minneapolis Police Department prepared for violence outside Epic with pepper spray and riot equipment, but not inside, as there were 40 well-trained security personnel inside along with six off-duty Minneapolis police officers. The assassin was able to approach the VIP section, gun down and kill 27-year-old Tyrone Washington with precision and dispatch, and then leave, unnoticed and unapprehended. Clearly this was not a shooting of random victims (as at schools, theaters and workplaces). Continue Reading →

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Why I don’t call the police

 

 

In a Minneapolis Police Department squad car, this morning: crowded by claustrophobia-like cowardice on a battlefield, reflect on how one can do right and still go wrong. Years back, assaulted on the sidewalk. Call 911. Squad car comes. Describing the assailant, am interrupted, ”Show me I.D. What’re you doing out here? Continue Reading →

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County Attorney Freeman on Terrance Franklin case: ‘It’ll be up to a grand jury’ — MSR inquires into historical failures to prosecute police for misconduct

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

Historically, many local Blacks believe that no matter what evidence is presented, nothing happens to Minneapolis police officers for misconduct against people of color. The May 10 death of Terrance Franklin, reportedly at the hands of City police, has thus far done nothing to erase such beliefs. A common theme expressed during recent public demonstrations is that the city’s Black community has no confidence in the police department investigating Franklin’s death or in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office that might or might not do anything to the responsible officer or officers for acts of misconduct. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman pledges that his office will do anything in its power to see that justice is done in the Franklin case. Freeman spoke one-on-one with the MSR last week for nearly an hour. Continue Reading →

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Chief Harteau announces dialogue — A public dialogue? Really?

 

 

The last time we were with you, we were talking about the racism travel brochure of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), including stops in Minneapolis, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Let’s hope for the future of the chief that we don’t have any more MPD racism travelogue stops. The chief indicated to local White media that she is embarking on a dialogue about MPD problems of racism (Star Tribune, August 2, “Chief Harteau calls for dialogue following racial incidents”). The Minneapolis Police Federation, under its President, Lt. John Delmonico, has stated clearly that the federation must also be at the table. I concur. Continue Reading →

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What it’s like to be Black in the MPD — The chance for another Cincinnati?

 

 

One cannot begin to understand the current racial tensions within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) until one reviews the history of this tension. The tensions are there, extremely dangerous tensions. Many do not understand while others don’t care about the level of hatred and disrespect, professional and personal, within the MPD, towards the small core of Black police officers by many of their White colleagues. It is not unknown. It is ignored. Continue Reading →

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Franklin case goes to county attorney, then Grand Jury — Will another Grand Jury sanction police shootings of young Blacks?

 

 

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) announced two weeks ago that they had completed the investigation into the shooting of T.T. Franklin and forwarded their findings to the Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman. The Star Tribune reported, “The case will get an initial review from the county attorney’s office before it is sent to the grand jury” (Star Tribune, June 7, 2013, “County attorney’s office to review Terrence Franklin shooting”). As Sportin’ Life would say: ”It ain’t necessarily so,” as all evidence is not in. How can the City or the Black community craft response strategies without a finished evidence report (DNA, finger prints, wound analysis, blood, urine, etc., etc.)? On May 18, the MPD said it would take at least four months to complete the forensic investigation and four to five weeks for the final determination from the medical examiner. Continue Reading →

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