What Do the Minneapolis Protesters Want?

A standing-room-only meeting held at Neighborhoods Organizing for Change December 6

Protests demanding racial equity and police accountability have showed no signs of stopping lately. What do protesters hope to accomplish locally, and how, besides protesting, do they plan to enact tangible change?

Last Saturday people packed into the headquarters of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in north Minneapolis to figure out how to harness energy from the protests into action.

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Chat with Chief Janee Harteau: An Evening at the 2nd Precinct

Categories: Police

Ben Johnson
The 2nd Precinct Building in northeast Minneapolis

Embattled Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau held the first in a series of monthly "Chat with the Chief" events at the 2nd Precinct in northeast Minneapolis yesterday. The idea, hatched after three public forums last month, is to give each city resident five minutes to sit down with the chief in a one-on-one setting to air concerns.

"Maybe people weren't comfortable standing up in front of 100, 200 people to say what they want to say," said Minneapolis Police Public Information Officer John Elder last night. "We want to everyone to have an opportunity to give feedback in an environment where they're comfortable."

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Study: Blacks Way More Likely to be Arrested for Minor Offenses in Minneapolis Than Whites

Thumbnail image for MplsSkylineFromNorth.jpg
Doug Wallick on Flickr
A new report put together by the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union finds that black people are way more likely to be arrested for low-level, non-violent offenses in Minneapolis than whites.

Using the Minneapolis Police Department's own data, the report finds that from 2004 to 2012, blacks in Minneapolis were 11.5 more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites; 8.86 times more likely to be arrested for disorderly conduct; 7.54 times more likely to be arrested for vagrancy; and 16.39 times more likely to be arrested for curfew/loitering.

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Minneapolis Cop Looks at Photo of Sex Assault Suspect, Sees Him Standing Across Street

Categories: Crime, Police
Peijan Hodges
Talk about fortuitous timing.

Thursday morning, a group of Minneapolis cops were walking around downtown, showing colleagues a photo of the suspect involved in two Ramp C assaults on October 7, including a sexual assault. Thankfully, the case was quickly cracked when the photo was shown to an officer who looked up and literally saw the guy standing across the street.

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Deondrae Atkins, Arrested for Not Much, Allegedly Had Cocaine in His Nether Region

Categories: Crime, Drugs, Police
Deondrae Atkins mug via Ramsey County
A night of playing dice turned into possible prison time for Atkins thanks to a little over 1.5 grams of cocaine.
On August 25, Deondrae Atkins was hanging out, rolling dice for money on a sidewalk near the Dorthy Day Center in downtown St. Paul, when a St. Paul police officer monitoring closed circuit television noticed another man in the area rolling a "marijuana cigar."

The officer approached the group, and recognized one of the men gambling as Atkins, 25, who he knew from "past encounters," as a criminal complaint puts it.

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Military Violated Agreement with Low-Flying Helicopter Training, Minneapolis Officials Say

Smiley Hill on Twitter
A helicopter hovers over the Minneapolis Federal Reserve building on August 18.
During yesterday's Minneapolis City Council public safety committee meeting, officials threw the military under the bus for the decried helicopter training that took place over the Twin Cities last month.

Matt Clark, assistant police chief, told council members that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman "needed to approve allowing [the military] to train within both cities." But deputy city attorney Peter Ginder said the military violated the agreement by flying helicopters low over both downtowns.

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JaneƩ Harteau Compensates for Cancellation by Meeting Privately with Hand-Picked Advisers

Categories: Police
YouTube screengrab
Chief Harteau speaks at the Minneapolis Woman's Club this past summer.
Last week, Minneapolis Police Chief JaneƩ Harteau pulled out of a town-hall style event, citing "known threats" of "planned physical disruptions" if she attended.

Harteau's decision prompted criticism, which she's addressing by scheduling another meeting -- a private one with the cop-dominated Citizens Advisory Council, whose membership she personally selects.

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Burnsville Police Chief Explains How Cop Cams Resolve Misconduct Disputes

Categories: Police
A Burnsville officer wearing a head-mounted camera.
As Minneapolis officials prepare to green-light a pilot cop camera program tomorrow, we called Burnsville Police Chief Eric Gieseke to learn about how his department -- which was one of, if not the first in the state to adopt a cop cam program back in 2010 -- has been impacted by them.

Gieseke cited two examples of how cop cameras have helped investigators quickly resolve allegations of officer misconduct.

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Police Body Cams: Minneapolis Cop Union has Concerns, but Doesn't Fundamentally Object

Categories: Police
Picture of Lieutenant John Delmonico via mpdfederation.com
Delmonico (left) thinks wearing body cams could ultimately pay dividends for Minneapolis cops.
With city officials gearing up to roll out the city's first police body cam pilot program, we touched base with John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, to get his take on the move.

As you'd expect, Delmonico has some concerns, but he tells us he isn't fundamentally opposed to the city moving forward with a cop camera program.

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St. Paul Police Release Chris Lollie Arrest Surveillance Footage

Lollie (in red hat), confronted by three officers, including one wielding a taser.
Yesterday, the St. Paul Police department released two surveillance videos of Chris Lollie's rough arrest in the First National Bank Building skyway.

Though the videos show what you'd expect them to show in light of Lollie's cell phone footage, the St. Paul cop union took to Facebook to argue they "show that the officers involved handled the situation professionally and in accordance with their training."

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