With the proposed City action changing the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) ordinance, the City has decided its citizens will not review police misconduct in a meaningful way in Minneapolis. As a citizen of Minneapolis, current board member of the Neighborhood and Community Engagement Commission (NCEC), former chair and member of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights, and a long-serving former member of the Minneapolis Advisory Council on Persons with Disabilities, I find it totally incomprehensible, undemocratic, non-inclusive and in no way engaging the community in a decision that grossly and negatively impacts members of the community in a broad sense.
There is police misconduct and abuse of citizens by police officers on a daily basis in Minneapolis. This no more evident than when members of the police force successfully win discriminatory conduct cases against the police leadership team.
The City leadership invested heavily in creating the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department and the NCEC but fails to use it when it counts the most. It appears that not one of the 53 or more advisory boards were consulted or included in any portion of the decision-making process for the proposed recommendation. How can this be?
If the City money outlay for police misconduct and other violations continues at the unabated average rate of $2.5 million annually since 2002, it is clearly not the CRA at fault. No matter where the CRA is placed or eliminated, if the City refuses to properly discipline and change the leadership and culture of the police department, it is a definite possibility Minneapolis may become the Penn State of cities.
We the citizens are listening and watching.
I request the CRA not be combined into the Internal Affairs Unit of the Minneapolis Police Department. I would rather see the City simply eliminate the CRA with an honest and straightforward message to the citizens of how unimportant we are as individuals.
Kenneth E. Brown, Sr.