Mpls City Council committee passes Civilian Review Authority overhaul despite public outcry

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City Councilmember Don Samuels says the new proposal will be more effective.
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    Despite near-unanimous criticism during a public hearing Wednesday afternoon, a Minneapolis City Council committee voted in favor of a plan to overhaul the city's police civilian oversight board, sending a new proposal to the full council for a final vote.

  • Of the more than a dozen who participated in the public comment portion of the meeting, only one spoke in favor of the new plan to replace the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority. Four who criticized the proposal are current members of the board, and say they were never consulted about the new design.

    If passed, the proposal would create a joint panel of appointed citizens and sworn officers to review cases of police misconduct. After a determination is made, the police chief would decide whether to impose discipline on officers. Currently, the board is made up entirely of city-appointed volunteers, and serves as an independent avenue of investigating complaints against officers from internal affairs.

    City Councilman Don Samuels, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Health Committee, says the old model wasn't working, and the new plan would be faster, more efficient, and provide more transparency.

    "It has lost its purpose," Samuels said in a City Pages interview after introducing the proposal. "People are no longer feeling any sense of confidence that this alternative is going to yield the results that they want. And so at the end of the day, that's what we have to look at: outcomes."

    But the bill's critics worry about the consequences of introducing police into the equation, which was the primary concern expressed at the meeting Wednesday.

    "The reason we have a civilian review authority is because people don't feel comfortable reporting misconduct to police," said Mel Reeves, one Minneapolis resident who spoke at the hearing. "In fact, it's just common sense."

    Councilmember Cam Gordon, the only one to vote against the bill (City Councilmember Betsy Hodges abstained), expressed a similar skepticism.

    "I share the concerns that a lot of people have with merging this with internal affairs," said Gordon, later adding there could be a potential benefit in getting "civilian eyes involved with internal affairs."

    The only community member to speak in favor of the proposal was John Hoff, author of the Adventures of Johnny Northside blog. In his testimony, Hoff referenced incidents of violence on the North Side, including the shooting death of five-year-old George Nizzel. "I come as a resident that says, 'Thank God for police.'"

    But Hoff was clearly in the minority. By the end of the meeting, many in the audience were vocally upset with the councilmembers. After the vote, one shouted a pointed "Fuck You" at the council on his way out the door.

    Check out all of the proposed changes here.


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    7 comments
    T.J.
    T.J.

    The only reason John Hoff was in the audience is because he loves publicity from the media, and he is a self proclaimed media manipulator. He'll do anything he can to get attention. He also thinks that the Mayor, city council members and police chief are his personal friends and admirers. 

    What readers need to understand is that John Hoff is a mentally disturbed war veteran who refuses to get help. Free treatment is available from the VA, but he doesn't recognize that he is delusional. Hoff is currently serving in the Oklahoma National Guard because the Minnesota Guard would not deploy him. Please contact: Brigadier General Glen E. Moore 3501 Military Circle Oklahoma City, OK 73111 and let the National Guard know that you are concerned about John Hoff's mental condition and ask that they refer Hoff to get the help he needs before he actually hurts someone.

    Regular readers of his blog clearly can see that Hoff is delusional and paranoid; a stalker with psychopathic tendencies.

    All communications will be private and not available to John Hoff. Let's get John the help he needs before he actually hurts someone, and let’s keep America safe. We don’t need another mass shooting.

     

     

    Dave Timmons
    Dave Timmons

    This is a tragic event for the minorities and civil rights in North Minneapolis. Time to replace Samuels.

    _taylor_
    _taylor_

    @AndrewMannix not saying the new plan is the best solution, but wasn't the CRA one of the biggest cluster messes at city hall?

    Dave2
    Dave2

     Yup, the fox is in the  henhouse now.

     

     

    idrivefast
    idrivefast

    Absolute bullshit. The City Council needs a complete overhaul, being that they give approximately zero fucks about what their constituents think. Police misconduct seems to be growing at a rapid pace, and despite overwhelming testimony from city residents (with the exception of Johnny Northside), the Council essentially shrugged their shoulders and pissed on the same residents that they are supposed to represent. Well done. 

     

    Vote these clowns out of the City Council so that there will be at least some accountability at the local government level.

    AndrewMannix
    AndrewMannix

    @_taylor_ It's definitely up there. Critics would say that's on Dolan for not taking them seriously/ imposing discipline on their rec.

    keny1
    keny1

     @idrivefast African American misconduct is growing at a rapid pace also....see the correlation?

     

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