Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan was briefed Wednesday on the ongoing investigation into the now defunct Metro Gang Strike Force. Apparently the news was not good. In a statement released afterwards Dolan acknowledged that seven Minneapolis cops are implicated in the probe.
“The Minneapolis Police Department is extremely disappointed at the scope and serious nature of the allegations regarding some Minneapolis officers assigned to the task force,” he said. “Our ability to police requires the communities’ trust, and these allegations fundamentally undermine the faith and trust that we work so hard to earn.”
The gang unit’s current troubles began in June when the state auditor’s office released a report stating that 14 vehicles and roughly $18,000 in cash that had been seized by officers could not be located. That was followed by a blistering report on the gang agency’s activities by former federal prosecutor Andy Luger and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent John Egelhof. Last week state legislators held a special hearing at the Capitol to scrutinize the alleged wrongdoing. The FBI has been brought in to determine if any crimes were committed by gang investigators.
Dolan was briefed today by Luger and Michael Campion, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. There has been a string of new developments involving MPD officers in recent days. On Thursday Sgt. Randall Olson, a former supervisor in the gang unit and a ten-year veteran of the department, resigned. He had been on paid leave since mid-August. Then on Monday Sgt. Kelly O’Rourke filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, claiming that he was retaliated against after raising concerns about activities at the gang unit.
The St. Paul Police Department has acknowledged that six of its officers assigned to the gang strike force are under investigation, according to the Associated Press. A single deputy from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s office is also being scrutinized for possibly mishandling evidence.
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