Calling Out Cop Culture

I support the cops. Having spent thousands of hours on citizen patrol and working on problem properties, I have an unusual appreciation for the work they do every day.

At the same time, we need to have a deep and revealing conversation about cultural problems in the MPD:

While Ginder did not have exact data Wednesday, he estimated the city averaged 32 new cases of police misconduct annually since 2009. The number appears to be increasing slightly since 2009, he said.

From 2006 to 2012, the city paid out about $14 million in police misconduct cases, the Star Tribune reported in June. In May, it agreed to pay out $3 million for the 2010 death of a black homeless man restrained by police at the downtown YMCA that the medical examiner ruled a homicide.

In two incidents that have garnered much publicity in recent weeks — one in Apple Valley, the other in Green Bay, Wis. — white officers made racist remarks and got into fights with blacks, according to police reports. But many other incidents of alleged Minneapolis police misbehavior have drawn no headlines.

A City Councilmember would have standing to start such a conversation. Yes, it will be difficult and controversial. But that’s what genuine representation and an independent voice is called to do. What is our current Councilmember doing?

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