The Police Conduct Oversight Commission held its monthly meeting on March 8, 2016. Meeting highlights included a presentation from City Council member Cam Gordon on his Criminal Justice Task Force Initiative, a discussion of the current draft of the MPD’s body worn camera policy, a presentation on the Preliminary Mental Health and Policing Study, a discussion of the Audit Committee design and committee reports.
Councilman Gordon opened the meeting with his presentation on the Criminal Justice Task Force. This is a Task Force that is in the preliminary stage but which he hopes to establish via a City Council Resolution. The Task Force would aim to develop recommendations for how the Minneapolis City Council, Mayor and City departments can eliminate racial disparities within the areas of the criminal justice system that the city of Minneapolis controls or influences. Some of those recommendations could include: amending city ordinances, reforming practices and policies of the Police Department and City Attorney’s office that disproportionately impact people of color, and minimizing collateral consequences for those charged with or convicted of a crime. Councilman Gordon asked the PCOC specifically for their suggestions and feedback in creating the proposal and task force and then later for their potential endorsement of it. Find a preliminary description of the project here.
Next, Deputy Chief Arradondo presented the current draft of the MPD body camera policy. He highlighted points of clash and agreement between that policy and the recommended policy the PCOC released in its Body Camera Research and Study in September. Following his presentation, the Commissions engaged in a robust discussions over many of those clashes, focusing especially on officer viewing of footage before writing reports, issues of consent and notification of community members being filmed, discretion in deactivation of body cameras and community input in regards to the policy. Deputy Chief Arradondo expressed that this is only a draft policy and that additional community engagement will be taking place and that the Commission is invited and encouraged to be involved in that engagement. Find the current draft policy here.
Following the body camera discussion, OPCR Law Enforcement Analyst Ryan Patrick and Policy Analyst Kaela McConnon Diarra presented to the Commission the Mental Health and Policing Preliminary Study results. Find the draft of the preliminary report here. Presenters went over research collected, other departments consulted and a variety of potential recommendations the PCOC could make. Some of those include supporting current efforts by the MPD to train all patrol officers in crisis response, supporting a 24-hour mental health drop in site already in the works, implementing a Mental Health Response Policy and creating a working group of community stakeholders to look at other potential programs and recommendations such as the co-responder program that pairs officers with a mental health professional. The Commission passed a motion to direct the report to the Policy and Procedure Committee for further review and revisit the report at the next monthly meeting.
Next, Commissioner Singleton discussed the proposed Audit Committee design, establishing its difference from the Policy and Procedure Committee by focusing on building Research and Studies and running data and numbers and the Policy and Procedure Committee focusing on substantive recommendations based on those studies and numbers to the MPD. Commissioner Singleton them moved to create the Audit Committee and the motion pasted. View the motion here.
Committee reports were then made for the Policy and Procedure Committee, find the Committee report here. Within that report, Commissioner Singleton moved to have that Committee take on a project to make recommendations concerning the methodology and procedure for conducting a thorough review of the Minneapolis Police Department Policy and Procedure Manual and accompanying Discipline Matrix, resulting in recommendations for changes to both the Manual and Discipline Matrix. The motion passed. Find it here. The Outreach Committee report was also made and can be found here.
Commissioners then reviewed case summaries from last month’s meetings and chose cases to review for the April meeting. Summaries can be found here: 1, 8, 9. Synopses for case selection can be found here. Commissioners selected cases 3, 5 and 6.
Following case review the meeting adjourned with the next monthly Commission meeting scheduled for April 12, 2016.