A state law enacted over the opposition of city leaders has significantly reduced the power of the Minneapolis panel that investigates police misconduct, throwing the city’s 22-year-old system of civilian police oversight into doubt.
The bill to prohibit the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority (CRA) from issuing “findings of fact” was introduced at the request of the Minneapolis Police Federation, the politically influential police union, and won overwhelming bipartisan support in the Minnesota Senate and House. Despite appeals from Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office and City Council members, Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill into law Thursday.
“I fully share the desire to assure the highest standards of police conduct,” Dayton said in a statement Friday. “However, serious concerns have been expressed about the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority, prompting the city to begin its own review. This will be an opportunity to improve the authority’s procedures, so that it can better carry out its important responsibilities.”
Serious concerns have been expressed about the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority? What kind of concerns? Did they stumble across another Gang Task Force-esque blunder and had to be shut up before it was brought to light?
I’m sure MPD will enjoy their new reign, free of any pesky oversight by mere civilians.