On August 11, 2015 the PCOC held its monthly meeting. Highlights of the meeting included a presentation from the ACLU on their recent Minneapolis Case Study on racial disparities in low level arrests and data on arrests in Minneapolis classified as “doesn’t fit any crime”, a policy and legal update from PCOC staff, updates from the Policy and Procedure and Outreach Committees and case discussions.
The ACLU presented data from a recent report entitled Picking Up the Pieces: Policing in America, A Minneapolis Case Study which found that in Minneapolis, Black community members were 8.7 times more likely, and Native American community members 8.6 times more likely than whites to be arrested in low-level arrests. Following this report presentation, ACLU staff presented statistics on Minneapolis arrests classified as “doesn’t fit any crime”, finding that 906 had taken place in the last 33 months. Of those arrests, 72% were of Black community members, while only 18% were of white community members. The presenters stressed their concern over this data and requested that the PCOC conduct a Research and Study to determine why these arrests are taking place and what recommendations could be made to the MPD to reduce or eliminate them. A motion was made by Commissioner Singleton to conduct the Research and Study, and passed unanimously. See the ACLU’s presentation here.
Following that presentation, OPCR staff member Sarah Pherson presented policy and legal updates that could be of interest to the Commission. The policy updates included changes to the Automated License Plate Reader Policy and Professional Policing Policy. Legal updates included U.S. v. Trogdon which discussed the issue of reasonable suspicion and Davis v. White discussing excessive force, state assault and battery, substantive due process and municipal liability. See the policy and legal update presentation here.
The Policy and Procedure Committee update, given by Committee Chair Commissioner Buss, covered events at their last meeting, including a presentation by the MPD Training Unit on the use and training surrounding chemical agents, and an impromptu discussion with an officer who participated in the body camera pilot project and shared her thoughts on body camera use in the MPD. See the chair report here.
The Outreach Committee update was provided by Committee Chair Commissioner Singleton, and covered upcoming events the Commission can participate in, including Open Streets events planned for August 16th and 23rd. Commissioner Cerrillo moved to have the Commission present at said events, another motion that passed unanimously. See the chair report here.
Following the case discussions, the meeting adjourned with the next PCOC monthly meeting scheduled for September 8, 2015.