The Police Conduct Oversight Commission held its monthly meeting on April 14, 2015 at 6:00pm (PCOC Meeting Agenda). Commission heard four presentations.
Police Chief Janee Harteau was the first presentation. She discussed the Low Level Arrests Analysis, which included MPD Initial Data Assessment for 2009-2014 Crime: Victims, Suspects and Arrests. She stated officers are in the areas where violent crime occurs, and these geographic areas are where arrests occur. Chief Harteau noted that MPD meets with the ACLU quarterly to discuss, amongst other topics, how to prevent crime while still building community. Chief Harteau discussed MPD’s positive contact efforts. MPD’s positive contact with the public increased 46% from last year.
Chief Harteau discussed the MPD’s participation in the Racial Bias Pilot City Initiative. The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is headed up by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Minneapolis was one of six cities selected to be a model city. The goal is to build trust between the community and the police through three areas of concern: procedural justice, preventing bias and reconciliation.
In addition, the Chief mentioned two areas of success: (1) Procedural Justice, piloted in Cedar Riverside where there are two Somali officers in a predominately Somali community and (2) Implicit Bias Police Training for all patrol officers. She stated the goal is to continue to expand the idea in Cedar Riverside to the other communities in Minneapolis.
The PCOC addressed its questions and concerns with Chief Harteau. Chair Andrea Brown asked the Chief to provide detailed information about the different nationalities classified as Latinos in the MPD Initial Data Assessment. Additionally, Chair Brown asked to be included in the next quarterly meeting that MPD has with the ACLU. Chief Harteau stated she would need to get back to Chair Brown on both questions. Commissioner Buss encouraged MPD to be more proactive in publicizing its increase in positive contact.
The second presentation was by Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo regarding MPD’s process for modifying or changing a MPD policy. The four steps of the process: (1) submit changes to the research and development team, (2) the proposed policy is researched for best practices, current union contracts, and current law, (3) the proposed policy sent to stakeholders for concurrence, and (4) new policy recommendations sent to the Chief. After providing PCOC with the process steps, D.C Arradondo agreed to work with the committee.
Third, OPCR Director Michael K. Browne presented the OPCR First Quarter 2015 (Q1-2015) Data Report, which outlined the complaints from January 2015 – March 2015.
Fourth, Legal Analyst Ryan Patrick presented the Investigatory Stop Report regarding the PCOC’s reaseach on supicious person stop (sometimes refered to as stop and frisk).
This report was based on a statistical analysis of 385 instances of police contacts in 2014. Of these instances, only 32% (122 stops) had documentation on the details of the stop. Race was documented in 43 cases (11%). Race is not indicated on Minnesota Driver’s Licenses. The study looked at documentation, not the justification for the stop.
The report included five recommendations including: (1) resolving barriers to documentation, (2) strengthening investigative detention data collection, (3) clarifying purpose of suspicious person stops, (4) capturing demographic information, and (5) continuing study. The PCOC approved the report and recommendations (Research and Study Motion).
Commissioner Singleton updated the PCOC on the efforts of the Outreach Committee. Commissioner Singleton motioned for the “PCOC to attend the Lake Street Cinco de Mayo festival” on May 10th from 11-6. The PCOC approved the motion. The Commission selected cases 2,4,10 to discuss at the May meeting. The meeting concluded with public comment.
Following the meeting, Chair Brown said this was the “best meeting with the best turnout the PCOC has ever had.” She encouraged the public to attend the meetings and to participate in public comments. She further encouraged people to file complaints with the Office of Police Conduct Review because it is through the complaints and the subsequent investigation that patterns can be found and can have a broader impact.
The next PCOC meeting will be held May 12th at 6:00 pm.
Roxy Gonzalez & Emma Koski – Law Students, University of St. Thomas School of Law