PCOC Holds Forum on MPD Body Camera Draft Policy

Commissioners and community members discuss body camera policy at the Forum.

Commissioners and community members discuss body camera policy at the Forum.

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, the PCOC held a public forum regarding the current MPD Draft Policy for the implementation of body cameras. Forum attendees included community partners, City Council members, and members of public. The discussion that ensued was enlightening and productive.

All attendees were provided with a copy of the current MPD Draft Policy on body cameras, along with the PCOC’s statement regarding that draft policy, and the recommended policy released by the PCOC last September. The Forum began with introductions of the PCOC’s commissioners and an overview of the Commission’s mission and purpose. Then Commissioner Singleton began a discussion of the concerns the PCOC has with the current draft policy and the key differences between that policy and the one originally recommended by the PCOC. She highlighted concerns and differences regarding the issues of: consent to film; policy compliance; accountability; viewing videos before writing reports; policy revisions; and discipline. The presentation included a direct comparison of the MPD Draft Policy with the PCOC recommended policy in each of these areas. To view the presentation powerpoint, see Body Cam Forum Presentation.

Following the presentation, representatives from various community partners spoke including: Jana Kooren from the ACLU; Mariam Mokri from the Commission on Civil Rights; Nekima Levy-Pounds from the NAACP; and Michelle Gross from Communities United Against Police Brutality. Many of the community partners’ comments were positive as to the PCOC’s recommended policy. Partners also agreed with many of the Commission’s concerns, and offered additional thoughts and ideas surrounding body camera policy.

Attendees left the event with a greater understanding of each other’s position on the implementation of body cameras and with a plan to move forward. This plan includes contacting local legislators and Governor Dayton regarding proposed body camera legislation in the Minnesota Legislature, continuing to raise awareness and discussing and advocating this very important issue.

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Celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month


May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In June of 1978, Rep. Horton introduced a joint house Resolution which proposed that the President should proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week. This joint resolution was passed by the House and then the Senate and was signed by President Jimmy Carter on October 5, 1978 to become law.

Over the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990 when Congress expanded the observance to a month for 1990. In 1992 Congress designated May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month .The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. A majority of the workers who laid the tracks for the transcontinental railroad were Chinese immigrants.

The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights looks forward to celebrating Asian- Pacific American Heritage Month with our community partners. Information regarding local events/celebrations and links to resources related to Asian-Pacific Heritage are found below. 

Local Events/Celebrations 

Asian Pacific Legal Experience in America: Opportunity, Economics, Racism, and Hope

Journey through stories and information of the darkest moments Japanese internment, to a celebration of Asian Americans who are now leaders in all fields. Created by 12 lawyers to support the legal journey of Asian Americans, this exhibit features historical events such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Japanese American Incarceration during WWII, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The exhibit is provided by the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.

When: May 3 – 23, open to the public during regular business hours.
Where: Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road Bloomington, MN 55431

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Bloomington Human Rights Commission.


2016 Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans Leadership Awards Dinner

Each year the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans organizes a dinner that brings the community together to commemorate “Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month” and honor the accomplishments and contributions Asian-Pacific Americans have made to our state and nation.

The 2016 Dinner’s theme is “Community, Civic Engagement, and Change”. The program consists of a keynote address and the presentation of the annual Asian Pacific Minnesotans Leadership Awards. This year’s keynote speaker is the Honorable Elizabeth Kautz, Mayor of the city of Burnsville.

When: Friday, May 20, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. A networking reception will begin at 5:00 PM, followed by a dinner program at 6:00 PM. 
Where: Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Avenue Maplewood, MN 55109.

Registration is free. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. To register, visit the event page on the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans website.

Immigration and Identity in America

Join a small group dialogue to process and discuss the themes of immigration, identity and equity in America as featured in the exhibit Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation. These dialogues are a place to discuss today’s issues and the history that sheds light on them. Dialogues are facilitated by staff members trained by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

When: May 17, 2016, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM and May 24, 2016, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.
Where: Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55102.

This event is free to attend.

Web Sites and Resources Related to Asian-Pacific Heritage

  • Asian Pacific Heritage Teaching Resources A collection of lesson plans for exploring Asian Pacific Heritage with students.
  • Council on Asian Pacific MinnesotansThe Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) is a state agency created by the Minnesota state legislature to: advise the governor and members of the legislature on issues pertaining to Asian Pacific Minnesotans; advocate on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific community, and; act as a broker between the Asian Pacific community and mainstream society.
  • Asian American Press Asian American Press is the first Asian American publication in Minnesota. Founded in 1982 as Asian Business & Community News, and renamed to the Asian American Press in 1990. This publication covers local, national and international news and information related to Asian American culture.
  • Becoming Minnesotan, Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees
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Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission to Hold Forum Discussing Concerns Regarding the Current Draft of the MPD Body Camera Policy


Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission to Hold Forum Discussing Concerns Regarding the Current Draft of the MPD Body Camera Policy

Forum takes place May 14


PCOC Samller


May 12, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Police Conduct Oversight Commission (PCOC) will hold an a forum discussing the current draft of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Body Camera Policy and the PCOC and community’s concerns regarding that policy.

The PCOC issued a Body Camera Report and recommendations informed by best practices and public input in September 2015. The Commission has invited the NAACP, NOC, ACLU, and the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights to share their perspectives as well.

The forum is scheduled for Saturday May 14, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in a space generously donated by event co-sponsor the Advocates for Human Rights, at 330 Second Avenue South, First Floor – Training Room. The event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

For more information, please contact the Police Conduct Oversight Commission at pcoc@minneapolismn.gov or (612) 673-5500.

The Police Conduct Oversight Commission is a group of seven civilians, appointed by the City Council and the Mayor. The PCOC provides meaningful participatory oversight of the Minneapolis Police Department’s policy and procedures by shaping police policy, auditing cases, engaging the community in discussions of police procedure, and facilitating cultural awareness trainings for the Minneapolis Police Department.

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights at 612-673-2697. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.   Para asistencia 612-673-2700 – Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 – Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.


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PCOC Meeting in a Snapshot: May Edition


Equity Division Director Cassidy Gardenier presenting to the PCOC

The PCOC held its monthly meeting on May 10, 2016. Highlights of the meeting included an update on and Commission adoption of the mental health research and study, a presentation from the Civil Rights Equity Division, a report on community outreach at the Cinco de Mayo celebration, discussion of the PCOC Body Camera Position Paper and Forum and case review.

The meeting began with an update on changes made to the Mental Health Study which now includes a recommendation that the MPD work with the Commission to develop a co-responder pilot program to be implemented in the MPD. An overview of the changes can be found here. Following the update, Commissioner Singleton moved to adopt the Preliminary Report of Officer Interactions with Mental Health Issues: A Policy Study and that motion passed. See the adopted report here.

The PCOC then received a presentation from the Director of the Department of Civil Rights’ Equity Division, Cassidy Gardenier, who discussed with the Commission this relatively new division, introduced its staff and presented its important work to promote racial equity in Minneapolis by ensuring equitable access to city services, supporting programs like Urban Scholars and other special projects. For more information on the division, see its website here.

Commissioner Westphal and Cerrillo then discussed the PCOC’s participation in the Cinco de Mayo event, explaining that it went quite well. Many law enforcement officials attended, and the Commissioners present were able to interact positively with them and the public.

The Commission then moved on to a discussion of a proposed position paper on Body Camera Implementation in the MPD, voicing its concerns and calling on Chief Harteau to adopt a variety of measures contained in the PCOC original recommendations released last September, as a part of the MPD draft policy. The position paper was adopted by the Commission and can be found here. The Commission then discussed some logistics for the Body Camera Forum planned for May 14th at 10:00am at the Advocates for Human Rights, 330 Second Avenue South, Suite 800.

Next were committee reports, starting with the Outreach Committee who continued the discussion of the Forum, and a draft agenda can be found in the Outreach Committee Report. In addition, Committee Chair Westphal discussed her experience observing MPD Crisis Intervention Training, noting her thoughts that the training was lacking in a variety of ways, including officer engagement. She plans to share a report on her experience in the near future.

Next Policy and Procedure Committee Chair Singleton presented the Policy and Procedure Committee Report, which covered the Mental Health study updates, the position paper on body cameras, the Committee’s work on the review of the MPD Policy and Procedure Manual and a framework for a performance review of the Chief of Police.

It was additionally announced that the newly formed Audit Committee will hold its first meeting on June 7, and now regularly meet the first Tuesday of every month. At the first meeting, Committee members plan to discuss the Committee’s function, foundation and potential future projects.

Committee updates were followed by review of case summaries from March and April and selection of cases for May. Summaries for March can be found here and for April, here. Synopses can be found here. The cases chosen for May are are cases 4, 7, and 10. The Commission then adjourned and the next monthly meeting is scheduled for June 14, 2016.

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Making A Good Faith Effort-Small Underutilized Business Program

Like many government agencies, the City of Minneapolis has small business subcontracting goals. The requirement is that prime contractors and developers must either meet the goals, or make a good-faith effort (GFE) to meet the goals. The aim of the program is for primes to form relationships with woman- and minority-owned small firms, and primes should usually be able to leverage those relationships to meet the goals. However, if the goals are not met on a given project, City staff will evaluate whether the prime contractor made a good faith effort to meet the goals. But, what does it mean to make a good faith effort?

When City contract compliance staff evaluate whether a contractor made a good faith effort, they will ask for evidence that the contractor took certain actions. Those actions might be organized into three basic categories: initial outreach, follow-up/negotiation, and breaking out subcontracting opportunities.

Regarding the contractor’s initial outreach, primes should note that the City only counts MnUCP-certified, local, minority- and women- owned firms (MBEs and WBEs) toward its goals. Evidence of a firm’s Minnesota MBE or WBE certification is found at mnucp.org. Community and professional organizations may also be helpful in finding MBEs and WBEs, but mnucp.org must be the primary resource.

Primes should solicit through all reasonable and available means the interest of all MBEs and WBEs certified in the scopes of work of the project. City staff will ask for evidence like copies of bid invitations sent, fax confirmation sheets, email correspondence, and phone logs of MBEs/WBEs called. Also, primes should do this outreach early enough that MBEs/WBEs have plenty of time to respond. This may sometimes mean starting outreach before the City holds its pre-bid meeting. Note that while there are many types of actions a contractor should be able to document in order to show a good faith effort, documentation of thorough initial outreach is usually weighed the most heavily by City staff.

Regarding the prime’s follow-up and negotiation, primes should follow up with potential subcontractors intelligently, negotiate fairly, and freely share appropriate project information. If, for example, a prime has emailed fifty MBEs/WBEs during initial outreach, and some of those firms responded that they were not interested, the prime need not contact those firms again about that project. Follow-up communications should be reserved for firms that did not initially respond, that responded favorably, or that responded ambiguously. And of course, MBEs/WBEs should be given the project details that they need to respond effectively to the solicitation.

Regarding breaking out subcontracting opportunities, a prime should select portions of the work to be performed by MBEs/WBEs in order to increase the likelihood that the project goals will be achieved. Depending on the nature and size of the project, this may require some creativity, including breaking certain scopes of work into smaller units. Even if a prime would prefer to self-perform certain scopes of work, breaking out those scopes to increase MBE or WBE inclusion remains a weighty consideration in any good faith effort evaluation.

Depending on the project, making and documenting a good faith effort can be time-consuming, to put it mildly. Again, the hope is that prime contractors are forming relationships within the community of small minority- and woman-owned firms. This would increase the chances that a prime can make two phone calls, and meet the goals, instead of having to make 50 phone calls, and not meet the goals.

The above is only a brief summary. For more detailed information about meeting the goals or making good faith efforts, refer to the City’s bid documents for any formally bid project, or call the Contract Compliance Division of the Civil Rights Department at 612-673-3012.

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Governor Dayton appointments Karen Francois as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Career and Business Opportunity


Karren 2 The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights will soon bid farewell to our dear colleague and friend Karen Francois. On April 20, 2015 Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointment of Karen Francois as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Career and Business Opportunity.

In affirming the Governor’s decision DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben released the following statement –  “Karen has a wealth of experience in addressing employment disparities and has a reputation for creating innovation solutions to complex problems.  Her highly collaborative approach will be a strong addition to our management team, and will be highly effective in bringing key stakeholders together to work on addressing the state’s most pressing issue.”

As Karen Francois transitions into her new role, she leaves behind a living legacy at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.


 Article Retrieved from Department of Employment and Economic Development Press Release

April 20, 2016

– The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has named Karen Francois to serve as assistant commissioner of the Office of Career and Business Opportunity.

The new DEED office was created by Gov. Mark Dayton to help workers and businesses of color find career paths and business opportunities in Minnesota. The office will identify and help break down barriers that have contributed to economic disparities for communities of color throughout the state.

Francois, who has served in key leadership positions with the city of Minneapolis for the past four years, will report directly to the DEED commissioner and will be a member of the commissioner’s senior leadership team. Her start date is May 4.

“Karen has a wealth of experience in addressing employment disparities and has a reputation for creating innovation solutions to complex problems,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Her highly collaborative approach will be a strong addition to our management team, and will be highly effective in bringing key stakeholders together to work on addressing the state’s most pressing issue.”

“I’m grateful to Gov. Dayton for his vision of racial equity in Minnesota and excited about the opportunity to help make that vision a reality statewide,” Francois said. “We are at a critical time where we need to get this done if Minnesota is to retain its economic vitality and prosperity.”

The Office of Career and Business Opportunity will focus on four main areas:

Better career opportunities – Helping workers in communities of color access the training and resources they need to find good jobs that lead to successful careers.

Better business opportunities – Helping minority-owned businesses succeed in Minnesota’s marketplace by providing access to resources and opportunities to start and expand their businesses.

Better business practices Helping Minnesota’s business community develop and adopt hiring and contracting practices that expand opportunity for minority workers and businesses.

Better state government –
Helping the Governor’s Diversity and Inclusion Council identify and break down barriers to opportunities for workers and businesses of color within state government.

Francois has extensive public sector experience, working in the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights as the director of employment equity since January 2012 and the director of contract compliance since July 2013.

Under her leadership, inclusion of minority and women workers on city construction projects has steadily increased, and more than $60 million has been paid out to minority- and women-owned businesses over the last three years.

Francois also was the associate director of Women & Philanthropy at UCLA from 2005 to 2008 and was director of program development for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights from 2003 to 2005.

She has bachelor’s degree in communications from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., and a mini-MBA certificate in nonprofit management from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

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PCOC Meeting in a Snapshot: April Edition

Commissioners at the April PCOC meeting.

The PCOC held its monthly meeting on April 12, 2016. Highlights of the meeting included an update on the mental health research and study, outreach efforts to be a part of the Minneapolis Cinco de Mayo celebration, appointments to the newly formed Audit Committee, Quarterly reports from the OPCR and Internal Affairs, a discussion of body camera police listening sessions conducted by the MPD and NCR and the PCOC’s postion on the current state of the MPD body camera policy, individual check-ins with the Chair and case selection.

The meeting began with a update on the mental health study from OPCR Policy Analyst Kaela McConnon Diarra who informed the Commission that a new draft of the preliminary report, referred to the Policy and Procedure Committee last month who offered suggested edits and additions, with those revisions and additions was available for Commission review. Some of the revisions and additions made included more detail in the Best Practice section of the report on co-responder programs, more emphasis on the need for a specialized CIT officer team even with all MPD officers being trained in CIT, and additional detail as to who would be a part of a recommended working group to review possible frameworks that could be implemented by the MPD to improve officer interactions with those experiencing mental health crises. The report was again referred to the Policy and Procedure Committee for further review, especially in regards to organizing the working group. Read the updated draft report here and recommended policy here.

Next, a community leader and main organizer of Minneapolis’ Cinco de Mayo celebration addressed the Commission and expressed his desire for the PCOC’s presence at the event and detailed the work he and Commissioner Cerrillo had already been doing to get MPD involved in the event as well. He reported that 3rd Precinct Inspector Sullivan plans to attend, and that a police car will lead the parade, all with the goal of promoting communication between the MPD and the Latino community and for the MPD to understand the needs of that community. The Commission passed a motion to attend the event from 10am-7pm on May 8th at a booth provided by event organizers free of charge.

Following that, appointments were made to the Commission’s new Audit Committee. The chair of that Committee is to be Commissioner Buss and the other members will be Commission Chair Brown, and Commissioner Singleton.

IA Commander Jason Case presents to the Commission.

IA Commander Jason Case presents to the Commission.

OPCR Director Imani Jaafar presented the OPCR’s quarterly report to the Commission, followed by the Internal Affairs Commander Jason Case presenting the quarterly report for the Internal Affairs Department. Both were informative and well received and this is the first time IA has presented its report to the Commission.  The OPCR report can be found here, and and IA report found here.

After this, the commission engaged in a lengthy discussion of the current situation in regard to body camera policy and the MPD. Commissioners attended multiple listening sessions put on by the MPD and NCR and noted the community’s dissatisfaction with the MPD’s current policy and their support for the PCOC recommended policy published last September. In response to Commissioner’s experiences at these meetings, a motion was passed for the Policy and Procedure Committee to plan a PCOC sponsored forum to inform community members about what the PCOC recommended policy says, how that differs from the current MPD draft and generally raise awareness regarding how important an effective body camera policy is. Another motion was passed for the Policy and Procedure Committee to draft a public statement from the PCOC regarding the current MPD policy draft and action on this issue.

Next were committee reports.  Read the Outreach Committee Report here. Read the Policy and Procedure Committee Report here.

The Chair then checked in with all individual Commissioners on what they have been working on and Commissioners shared many great things including: work with the Minneapolis Bike Association on bicycle citations, meetings with MPD precinct inspectors, outreach to Catholic churches in Minneapolis, work on Islamophobia and more.

The Commissioners then moved to postpone case discussion until the next monthly meeting but did chose cases to consider for next month as well. Those cases were 5,7 and 10. The meeting then adjourned.

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