MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — City leaders in Minneapolis have asked federal authorities to conduct an investigation into the November occupation of the police department’s 4th Precinct.
Mayor Betsy Hodges and Police Chief Janée Harteau say they requested the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office to conduct an investigation into the city’s response to the 18-day occupation.
The protest began after 24-year-old Jamar Clark was shot and killed by a police officer earlier that month. Witnesses at the scene say Clark was handcuffed at the time of the incident. Police dispute that fact, saying Clark and another officer were in a struggle, and Clark was reaching for the officer’s gun.
Protesters demanded the department not be allowed to conduct an investigation into itself, and that grief counselors be offered to the family and the community — both of which were granted. They also demanded the release of dashcam video of the incident, which the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension refused, saying it would harm their investigation.
Both Hodges and Harteau say the investigation is necessary in order for the community to move forward.
“An independent review of the City’s response to the protests at the 4th Precinct will provide the city — our leaders, our departments, and our residents — with important insight into what was done well and where we can do better in the future,” Hodges said in a statement. “This assessment will have value not only for Minneapolis, but for cities around the country.”
In an email sent to all MPD personnel, Harteau expressed a similar sentiment.
“I believe this report is important for us to effectively move forward and will help us in our response as a city while providing other law enforcement agencies nationally a look at some new challenges and new opportunities for us to improve our profession,” she said in the email.
Harteau also said MPD is conducting its own internal after-action report.