Nine hundred complaints disappear

Only 16 cases under investigation



The Police Misconduct Board operates under the custody and control of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department. The Police Misconduct Board has hired a significant number of attorneys over the last year. They receive a nice stipend to review and make determinations regarding allegations of police misconduct.

Observers as well as workers in City Hall want to know why, under Michael Brown, 900 police complaints, going back several years, have now been jettisoned with no more than 16 active investigations. Police officers call this “bait and switch” and unidentified “Xs and Os.”

Nine hundred complaints have been passed through a shredder. This is not public service; it is sabotage of public service.

The taxpayers of Minneapolis are being assessed a significant dollar amount to hire more case reviewers even as the number of cases is reduced. It is clear that, once again, City Hall has adopted its own version of “have a pen and phone” to bypass its own laws, using a shredder and a dumpster for cases, rather than properly reviewing them so that determinations can be made relevant to the statutory importance of these cases to be reviewed.

I am reminded of the cases that came out of the Civil Rights Department itself due to its patterns and practices of dumping cases, as I have reported in this column about how the department sent letters to citizens about their complaints, indicating that their cases had been investigated when they had not been investigated.

Nine hundred complaints represent a lot of citizen expectation that concerns would be taken seriously by government officials, and that the integrity of investigations would be maintained and honored. This is clearly not the case with the Department of Civil Right’s Office of Police Misconduct.

Given the failure of the Department of Civil Rights to stand up for civil rights and to honor and investigate complaints of violation of civil rights, it would be more accurate to change the name to the Office of Civil Rights Misconduct, as that is too often the prevailing action within the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, which has made its business not the investigation of civil rights complaints but dismissing the complaints without review or investigation.

How far is too far? An indicator of the answer is when even police officers, who are members of the tribunal, shake their heads in disbelief at such patterns and practices in the City of Minneapolis. These are signs that the tax-paying citizens of our city are in big trouble, and should feel very concerned regarding the application of good government.

We are not watching the breakdown of our government system. “Breakdown” implies natural degrading, as with an old car, an old roof, an old furnace, etc. Rather it is deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful.

Different leadership groups are given to “getting theirs” at the expense of others who do not get theirs. Remember how the newly elected council person of the 5th ward in 2002 came to her office only to find most of the files missing? This paper included a picture on its front page. The Star Tribune tried to avoid the story.

There are enough laws and statutes on the books. What we have is system sabotage — unnatural, on purpose. Too many Black officials no longer mimic the great civil rights leaders of the first half of the 20th century. They now, as Whites, mimic the sabotage of the Black community in order to better facilitate their being able to say, “We got ours.”

In other words, self-sabotage of today and, thus, sabotage of the education and jobs of future generations.

Stay tuned.


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