MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People shared their ideas and frustrations with the Minneapolis Police Conduct Oversight Commission Tuesday night.
The volunteers appointed by the mayor and city council represent the community and help shape police policy.
The online virtual meeting was a space for the community to share, and the commission to listen.
“As we reimagine and reassess public safety its vital we listen to you,” Chair Afsheen Foroozan said.
“It’s within these moments reform is truly possible,” Vice Chair Caitlin Gokey said.
More than a dozen people called in as part of public comment, some with praise, others with criticism and concern.
“Have you weighed in on nine city council members to defund police? What role should you play in that process,” said a community member named Al.
“It’s very clear you are not assuring anyone of anything, and are not a credible public body,” said a community member named Daniel.
Angela Smith was allowed by the commission to go over the allotted three minutes to speak. Her brother, David, died in Minneapolis police custody after being restrained at the downtown YMCA in 2010.
“MPD assessed him as having a mental health crisis, they still tased and they pinned him to the floor with a knee in his back until he died,” Smith said.
The family settled in 2013, but Smith said the move happened only after police agreed to educate officers about the restraint position where he had trouble breathing.
“Now I’m reliving horrible trauma,” Smith said. “All our efforts were in vain.”
She wanted to know what happened to that training. The oversight commission didn’t have answers during this meeting, but said they’re listening.
A commissioner said she requested information on the Smith case Tuesday morning. She was told to file a formal data practices request.