Of 439 cases involving Minneapolis police misconduct handled by a new office created last fall, not one so far has resulted in discipline of a police officer.
Police department officials say those numbers obscure gains made in responding to citizen complaints about police behavior, but skeptics say the few cases of actual discipline confirm that the new system is not working any better than the one it replaced.
“I believe there has been considerable progress,” said Medaria Arradondo, commander of police internal affairs, who reviews complaints along with Michael Browne, director of the new conduct review office.
“The criticism was that it would not improve process and lead to less discipline,” said Teresa Nelson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. “The numbers show that those criticisms were accurate.”
The question of how Minneapolis police disciplines its own is facing fresh scrutiny after several recent incidents involving Minneapolis police officers. Two of the incidents involved off-duty officers accused of fighting with black men and using racial slurs in Green Bay, Wis., and Apple Valley, and led Police Chief Janeé Harteau to convene a citizens advisory group this summer.
In addition, the city of Minneapolis made $14 million in payouts for alleged police misconduct between 2006 and 2012, but the Minneapolis Police Department rarely concluded that the officers involved in those cases did anything wrong, according to a Star Tribune analysis.
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No Minneapolis cops have been disciplined after 439 complaints