The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has quite a reputation. From its program of picking up people on the street and getting them high on illegal drugs to the corrupt Gang Strike Force there has been little good to say about the integrity of the agency. Now it appears that there is yet another scandal to add to the department’s pile. Thousands of people have been stopped by MPD officers for no reason whatsoever:
Minneapolis police officers rarely record details of their encounters with people they detain but ultimately don’t arrest.
That’s the key finding of a civilian review board draft report that examined 385 “suspicious person” stops conducted by officers in 2014. In nearly 70 percent of those stops, officers provided no documentation of the interaction, other than noting how the call was resolved.
The draft (.pdf) released this week by the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, a unit of the Minneapolis civil rights department, could lead to changes in how police document stops of suspicious people.
I say they were stopped for no reason whatsoever because if there was a reason you can rest assured the officer would have recorded it. Unfortunately this is looking like yet another case where the officers involved will go unpunished. The Police Conduct Oversight Commission is merely looking for changes to how police document stops, it’s not attempting to have the officers charged or even fired.
Since no documentation regarding most of these stops exists it’s hard to tell if MPD was targeting people of certain races. Perhaps MPD is learning form the mistakes of other agencies and simply not keeping detailed records that could be used to make a case of discrimination against the department.