PCOC Meeting in a Snapshot: November Edition

Police Conduct Oversight Commissioners

Police Conduct Oversight Commissioners

The Police Conduct Oversight Commission held its monthly meeting on November 10th, 2015.  Highlights of the meeting included the introduction of new OPCR Director Imani Jaafar, an update on the 3rd Quarterly Report for 2015, and the Policy and Procedure Committee report.

New OPCR Director Imani Jaafar

New OPCR Director Imani Jaafar speaks to the PCOC

The Police Conduct Oversight Commissioners were introduced to the Office of Police Conduct Review’s newly appointed Director, Imani Jaafar, who began her work with the Office on October 19th.  Director Jaafer expressed how impressed she is with the Commission’s work and that she very much looks forward to working with the Commissioner in the future.

Following this introduction, the OPCR’s Ryan Patrick updated the Commission on progress on the 3rd Quarterly Report, noting that much of the case backlog has already been processed and that the Commission will receive updated case data soon. Mr. Patrick also noted that the OPCR will be working with a new representative from IAU, Commander Jason Case, who will serve as one of the Joint Supervisors.

Commissioner Buss, Chair of the Policy and Procedure Committee, updated the Commission on the Committee’s activities which include a continued focus on OPCR cases citing officer use of inappropriate language.  He informed the Commission of progress on the “Doesn’t Fit Any Crime” Research and Study that will be presented at the December PCOC meeting, noted potential outreach opportunities and discussed the idea of the Commission conducting research on police calls concerning emotionally disturbed persons.  A full Committee Report can be found here.

Following this update, Commissioners discussed the chosen case summaries from October and chose synopses to be converted to summaries for the next monthly meeting in December.  Those cases are 3, 5, and 9. The synopses can be found here.

The meeting was then adjourned, with the next scheduled for December 8th, 2015.

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Welcome Danielle Shelton Walczak, Complaint Investigations Division Director

Executive Director Velma Korbel Appoints Danielle Shelton Walczak as Complaint Investigations Division Director

October 26, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) — The Minneapolis danielleDepartment of Civil Rights is pleased to announce that Danielle Shelton Walczak has joined the department as Director, Complaint Investigations. Shelton Walczak most recently served as the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

Danielle Shelton Walczak started her career as a District Court law clerk. In that position she researched and wrote judicial opinions on various criminal and civil court matters. Later, she joined the law firm of Blackwell, Igbanugo, Engen & Saffold (currently known as Blackwell Burke) as an associate. During her tenure she worked on class action litigation; provided defense representation for a Fortune 50 client; and provided defense work for national corporations in the areas of employment contracts, trademark, and copyright law. Before joining the MSBA, Shelton Walczak owned and operated a solo law practice for eight years.

Shelton Walczak received her undergraduate degree from Colgate University, and her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. Throughout her career Shelton Walczak has been an active leader in the MSBA’s Diversity and Women in the Legal Profession Committee and the United States Tennis Association’s Diversity Committee. Shelton Walczak also served as a member of the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights from September 2011 through March 2014.

Minneapolis Civil Rights Director, Velma Korbel, summed up her thoughts about hiring Shelton Walczak this way, “Danielle is going to be great in her new role leading the Complaint Investigations Division because she is passionate about equity and fairness, and demonstrates a commitment to high quality work. Her energy is exactly what we need right now to ensure the Complaint Investigations Division continues to fulfill the mission and purpose of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance.  Danielle is deeply committed to civil rights enforcement and understands the importance of fostering relationships and building coalitions with the community. She is an innovative leader with management experience in both the public and nonprofit sectors. I am excited to welcome her to the Civil Rights leadership team!”

Shelton Walczak is a blogger, former freelance business writer for Yahoo, and a former Adjunct Professor at William Mitchell College of Law. She begins her work in the City, today, October 26, 2015.

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Welcome Imani Jaafar Director, Office of Police Conduct Review

Executive Director Velma Korbel Appoints  Imani Jaafar

Director, Office of Police Conduct Review

October 19, 20imani15 (MINNEAPOLIS) —  The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) is pleased to announce that Imani Jaafar will be joining the department as Director, Office of Police Conduct Review.

Imani Jaafar started her career in the public sector as a District Court law clerk and has held progressively responsible roles as a staff attorney in the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis to assistant public defender in Ramsey County.

As an assistant public defender in Ramsey County, Jaafar represented clients on misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses in a variety of areas. Since 2007, Jaafar has owned and operated a solo practice representing clients in the areas of business law, estate planning, and criminal defense and specialty areas of small business and Islamic wills. Jaafar most recently worked with Murad Defense LLC in the area of estate planning.

Jaafar received her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota (cum laude) and her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. Throughout her career, Jaafar has been an active leader on issues related to American Muslims. Several venues have invited Jaafar to lecture on Islamic issues including the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Advocates for Human Rights, and colleges and universities across the country.

Minneapolis Civil Rights Director, Velma Korbel, summed up her thoughts about hiring Mrs. Jaafar this way, “Imani is a proven leader and will be great in her new role leading the Office of Police Conduct review. As a former public defender, she is familiar with assessing and analyzing police conduct issues. Jaafar has served on ethics boards and is experienced in the process of handling, investigating, and processing complaints. She is an innovative leader with experience in community empowerment. Her unique skill set will be a great addition to the MDCR leadership team.”

Jaafar is an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law.  She has been featured on National Public Radio, Minnesota Public Radio, and WCCO Radio as a guest. Jaafar’s works are also featured in the Minnesota Law and Politics publications and “A Peace of My Mind” by John Noltner. Jaafar’s service in the City will begin on October 19, 2015.

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PCOC Meeting in a Snapshot: October Edition

DC  Arradondo presents to Commissioners.

DC Arradondo presents to Commissioners.

The Police Conduct Oversight Commission held its monthly meeting on October 13th, 2015.  Highlights of the meeting included an update on the MPD investigatory stops data collection, a presentation on participation in the NACOLE conference, the 3rd Quarterly Report for 2015, and Committee reports.

Deputy Chief Arradondo addressed Commissioners regarding the update to investigatory stops data collection.  He informed the Commission that the MPD is currently working with their IT department to develop a method to track the race, age, location and time of day of investigatory stops in both the computer and radio systems officers use. When implemented, this tracking will be required for every investigative stop, so much so that officers will able unable to receive a new call for service until they complete said tracking information. While the computer system is very close to operational already, the radio system will take more time, as will training on the new system for dispatchers and call takers. DC Arradondo hopes the program roll out will take place in November and he would like to report back to the Commission following that roll out. Commissioner Brown personally invited him to speak again to the Commission at the monthly meeting in December.

Commission Chair Brown presented to her fellow Commissioners regarding her attendance and participation in the NACOLE conference last week.  She had a very positive experience and noted that many other oversight agencies are adopting the type of hybrid oversight system used in Minneapolis. Chair Brown also noted that she shared two recent Commission research and study reports including the Body Camera Report and the Investigatory Stops Report with fellow NACOLE conference participants. Both were positively received.

The OPCR’s Ryan Patrick reported to the Commission regarding the 3rd Quarterly Report, noting a variety of staff change in the Office and that a more comprehensive quarterly update would be made at the November monthly meeting.

The Policy and Procedure Committee Chair Buss shared the Committee’s experience hearing from a MPD representative regarding MPD on School Resource Officers and initiatives those officers are involved in to engage students, families and communities. A full committee report can be found here.

Outreach Committee Chair Singleton shared Committee updates including Committee participation in Open Streets events and a presentation of the Body Camera Report to the Minneapolis City Council’s Public Safety Committee on September 30th. A full committee report can be found here.

Committee reports were followed by a discussion of case summaries and Commissioners selected the cases to be summarized and discussed at the next monthly Commission meeting on November 10th. Those cases are: 1, 7 and 8.  Synopses of these cases can be found here.

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Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights attend the Second Annual Trans* Equity Summit

trans1Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights staff attended the Second Annual Trans* Equity Summit. The Summit was put on to raise awareness  of issues, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations for City government that will affect the lives of Transgender residents of Minneapolis. The summit was full of powerful discussion and storytelling.

The day began by showing  a trailer for the documentary film Free CeCe. CeCe McDonald is a trans African American woman who survived a violent, racist, and transphobic attack and then served time in a men’s prison in Minnesota. In the film, Actress Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) discusses the issue of trans-misogyny and the epidemic of viole​nce surrounding trans women of color.

Later in the afternoon came a  riveting panel discussion. Many questions were directed towards build better relationships between the  transgender community and police officers. The day endedtrans 3  by splitting off into break out discussion groups.  Topics discussed included: arrests, jail, booking, health care, and sex trafficking. Event organizers assured attendees that the recommendations generated will be brought back to the City’s Transgender Workgroup is tasked with implementing them into real policy changes, with the hopes of making both the City of Minneapolis government and the Minneapolis geographic area more inclusive to transgender people.

The event took place at Intermedia Arts at 2822 Lyndale Avenue in South Minneapolistrans2. An art exhibit entitled VisibilitT that focuses on the images and stories from the trans community will be available for viewing through the end of October. More information is available here.

* The asterisk indicates an umbrella term for people who identify as transgender as well as people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

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PCOC Meeting in a Snapshot: September Edition

PCOC Commissioners listening to the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study

PCOC Commissioners listening to the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study

On September 8th,  OPCR staff presented the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study to a packed PCOC meeting.  The study looked at data from the three listening sessions, surveys and national best practices. The report  is broken down into seven categories of recommendations: (1) activation, (2) deactivation, (3) restrictions, (4) notification, (5) viewing, (6) public access and retention, and (7)accountability.   Some key findings of the study indicates that body cameras should be activated for all community contact.  The study focused on  practices in other jurisdictions, including Burnsville and Duluth, academic studies, and information provided by other advocacy organizations like the ACLU.  The recommendations incorporated feedback from the door surveys at the listening sessions and other community events.  Common themes in the community comments are that cameras should be activated as much as possible and limited discretion. The community feedback indicates that consent is a concern, and SWAT use of body cameras.

MJF Law Clerk Kaela McConnon presenting the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study to the PCOC.

MJF Law Clerk Kaela McConnon presenting the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study to the PCOC.

The  goals of the policy is to create trust while promoting accountability and transparency. Officer responsibilities include verbally informing  for nonconsenual when practical. For consensual encounters in private place, inform.  The restrictions require that officer in off duty employment are in uniform and have arrest powers they must wear the camera. SWAT members should wear the PVR.  Supervisors shall conduct random monthly reviews for compliance, classification, and possible misconduct. The PCOC recommended a large change to the recommended Activation policy. The PVR shall be in record during consensual contacts, calls for service, and all law enforcement activities. A PVR should not be activated for the purpose of surveillance, and shall not be used at legal assemblies to record those individuals engaged in legal conduct. The PCOC recommends a rebuttable presumption that if video is not available in a case when it should be its a strike against the officer. There should be a six month grace period before that presumption should apply. Deactivation further details when a camera can be turned off; when the scene is cleared, contact terminated, or transport is complete. More details can be found in the policy itself. Vice-Chair Jennifer Singleton moved for the PCOC to adopt the Body Camera Implementation Research and Study. The motion passed.

The PCOC is undertaking another research and study about the “doesn’t fit any crime” arrests. Supervisor Ryan Patrick discussed the proposed methodology for the study. 768 of these miscellaneous charges  from August 1, 2012 to August 1, 2015. The goals of the study to determine if arrests are because of database limitations, or other reasons, and identify trends.  The study will look at different factors including: whether there were multiple offenses listed for the arrest, the statute cited, whether another CAPRS code identifies the offense, whether the arrestee was booked or cited, demographic data, compare the “MISC” arrest rates of the precincts, whether the arrest rates vary across the city, arrests based on date and time, and whether the arrestee was charged. The PCOC adopted the research and study methodology.

The PCOC conducted several usual business items including committee chairs sharing committee reports. The PCOC reviewed case synopses and summaries. Cases 6,7, and 9 will be the case summaries at the next meeting.  The next PCOC meeting will be at 6:00 on Tuesday, October 13th.

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Congratulations Ryan Patrick, new Police Conduct Operations Supervisor

Legal Analyst Ryan Patrick presenting the Investigatory Stop data.

Ryan Patrick presenting the Investigatory Stop data.

Ryan Patrick has been named the new Police Conduct Operations Supervisor.

In the past year, we have experienced the work of the Police Conduct Oversight Commission growing as it takes ownership of the police conduct policy work in the City enterprise as envisioned by the Police Conduct Oversight ordinance.  Whether it has been the work around cultural awareness, coaching, investigative stops or body worn cameras, the needs of the Commission have grown and Ryan has been at the center, ready and willing to serve the Commission, the Police Department and the City.

It is for this reason that in the civilian unit, we have reorganized and created the OPCR Analysis Team with Ryan Patrick leading the group as the Project Coordinator (Supervisor).  His work group will consist of the Committee Clerk, Intake/Special Projects, Law Clerks, and a future legal analyst.

His team will focus on the development and administration of major projects, primarily related to the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, as well as OPCR data analytics and interdepartmental projects.

Congratulations Ryan!

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