MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A series of weekly public forums kicked off Friday to look at police-community relations in Minneapolis, and the city’s response following the death of George Floyd.
The volunteer organization Communities United Against Police Brutality is hosting the meetings titled the People’s Floyd Commission. Michelle Gross, the president of CUAPB, says it’s work the city has failed to do this summer.
“The whole goal is to gather all of this testimony, and then produce a report with recommendations afterward so that we can avoid this from ever happening again,” Gross said.
Organizer Toussaint Morrison compared the meetings to the Christopher Commission, which examined the Los Angeles Police Department in the wake of the Rodney King beating in 1991.
“This is kind of a means of catharsis for people to actually, you know, state their narrative, state their story,” Morrison said.
Speakers were encouraged to testify to their experiences with MPD. Gross would like to see changes to officer accountability, saying the agencies responsible for addressing misconduct have failed.
Complaints against police are filed with the Office of Police Conduct Review. Its website describes it as a neutral agency made up of civilians with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and officers from MPD Internal Affairs.
From 2013 through 2018, less than 2% of complaints led to suspension, termination or demotion of an officer. About a third of the total complaints resulted in coaching or additional training, which doesn’t go into an officer’s personnel file.
Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with murdering George Floyd, had 18 complaints filed against him during his career with MPD.
“People are going to get a better understanding of people’s interactions with the police, the Minneapolis Police Department, and then where we’ll go from there is what do they want going forward?” Morrison said.
MPD data shows there have been at least 280 complaints filed this year, with 27 dismissed for either not alleging any violation, or being out of jurisdiction.