MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced the first of what will be a series of new public safety policy reforms Sunday.
The new policies tighten rules for officer body camera review and reporting by preventing Minneapolis officers involved in critical incidents from reviewing body camera footage prior to completing an initial police report.
Mayor Jacob Frey says he wants officers to fill out the public safety statement at the scene of an incident.
“This is a move for transparency, accountability and integrity,” Frey said. “We want to make sure we get an accurate recollection from the officer at the time.”
Minneapolis-based civil rights lawyer Abou Amara called policy change a positive step, and say he’s not aware of any police departments in Minnesota that have this new policy.
“I think this says Mayor Frey and Chief Arradondo are serious about changing the department,” Amara said. “Nowhere else would we permit the subject of an investigation to look at evidence before we ask them what happened.”
Amara did say he hopes there will be language to address what happens if an officer says “they don’t remember” an incident. He says it was a question from critics of the Oakland Police Department in California on their body camera policy.
“Makings sure there isn’t a backdoor way to undermine this proposal,” Amara said.
Chief Arradondo released a statement Sunday, saying in part, “The new standards align expectations for officers involved in critical incidents with the rules for civilian subjects, who are not allowed to watch body camera footage for an incident in which they may be a potential suspect.”
Frey and Arradondo also announced there will be specific guidelines of who is allowed to have contact with an officer involved in a critical incident at the crime scene. The Minneapolis Police Officers Federation will not have access. Officials from the police union gave WCCO this statement Sunday:
Once again the city is violating our process agreement in regards to policy change. Sad that they do not allow for Federation feedback which always used to be done. The Federation will be reviewing our options with our legal staff.
The policies, which take effect on June 30, also provide clearer direction to supervisors regarding immediate on-scene communications and clarify time requirements for reporting.