MN Citizens Panel Lacks Power In Police Brutality Cases


Despite the existence of a Minneapolis citizen panel set up to review allegations of police misconduct, the Minneapolis Police Department remains in charge of handling its own brutality complaints, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Civilian Review Authority (CRA), set up in 1990, was designed to give citizens a say in allegations of police misconduct, but a city report says that the “citizen oversight balancing function is completely ified.” The authority’s chairman, Michael Weinbeck, says, “We’re empowered to make a decision on citizen complaints, but the Police Department rarely issues discipline. This isn’t the way good police accountability works. And it’s not the way to build trust between the Police Department and the community.”

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the union representing officers, puts the blame on the authority. “CRA hasn’t defined what misconduct is. They haven’t defined what excessive force is,” he said. “They have no clear expectations or thresholds of where in the world cops cross the line in areas they investigate.” When someone has a complaint against the Police Department, the person can file with the Civilian Review Authority or the police internal affairs unit. The catch is that under Chief Bill McManus, all complaints end up with internal affairs.


Comments are closed.