The Minneapolis City Council voted 8-5 Friday to overhaul a citizen’s board that investigates cases of police misconduct.
The current Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority will be reformed to combine police and civilian investigators to oversee complaints of officer misconduct.
“It’s a departure from the norm, but the norm has been pretty unsuccessful in the past,” said Council Member Don Samuels, author of the proposal.
The plan is “revolutionary” compared to other major police departments nationwide, Samuels said.
“We have the opportunity to show the rest of the country that Minneapolis is on the cutting-edge,” Samuels said. “We want police officers to sit across the table from citizens and hear what they think.”
Civilian Review Authority – related coverage
For detailed critique of the process and the substance of the proposed changes, see:
• Complaint about police conduct? Minneapolis city council considers ending Civilian Review Authority, greater role for IAU
“That [kind of] conversation is going to happen for the first time,” he said.
Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents the University area, proposed three amendments to the proposal.
Two of the amendments passed adding statements to the proposal to “increase trust in the police department.”
The discussion was not without opposition. Gordon and Schiff, among other members, spoke out against the changes.
“I think these changes go too far to abandoning our core principles of civilian oversight of the police,” Councilman Gary Schiff said.
Citizens sitting in the council meeting voiced sporadic cheers during the discussion. One woman held a sign to the council reading, “Look up the word ‘shame’ in the dictionary.”