Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo has responded to a Star Tribune report that states officers have been encouraging EMS responders to use powerful sedatives to subdue suspects and even non-suspects.
The newspaper obtained a draft report from within the city's Department of Civil Rights, which reveals on dozens of occasions Minneapolis police officers encouraged Hennepin County medical responders to inject suspected criminals with ketamine.
In some cases the person was injected with the tranquilizer, which is used as a "date rape" drug, even though no apparent crime had been committed.
And on occasion, the drug caused heart or breathing failure, requiring an individual to be revived. You can see the full Star Tribune report here.
On Friday, city police chief Arradondo responded to the report, saying he "took immediate steps" prohibiting officers from making medical suggestions to EMS staffs as soon as the practice was brought to his attention.
"A portion of the draft report contained elements regarding language and statements made by some MPD officers that do not reflect our core values," he said.
But he also said there are "significant faults" with the report, and accused whomever leaked it of "recklessly disseminating it to our communities."
"This inaccurate draft report has the potential to tarnish much of the good work the men and women of the MPD, as well as our medical partners, do every day and night to save lives in our city," he added.
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The full statement of Police Chief Medaria Arradondo
Today a local media outlet published an article regarding MPD Officers and their actions during calls for service involving hospital EMS personnel. The information released was based on a draft report created by the Office of Police Conduct Review. It is important to know that this report was not complete and devoid of any input from medical personnel.
This draft report focused on MPD Officers’ suggestions and recommendations to EMS personnel regarding the use of the drug ketamine on members of the community.
The MPD is committed to our procedural justice service to our community.
We give voice, respect, build spaces of trust and are neutral in our engagements. A portion of the draft report contained elements regarding language and statements made by some MPD officers that do not reflect our core values. When this matter was brought to my attention, I took immediate steps and made a policy change prohibiting Officers from making medical suggestions or recommendations to EMS staff through both policy and administrative announcement.
Releasing the contents from this draft report before its completion was irresponsible.
There are significant faults with this draft report, and recklessly disseminating it to our communities is a disservice to those who not only rely upon receiving accurate information – but also put their trust in our police services. This inaccurate draft report has the potential to tarnish much of the good work the men and women of the MPD, as well as our medical partners, do every day and night to save lives in our city.
There are thousands of medical-related calls that MPD Officers respond to along with our medical partners in our city every year. There are countless lives that are saved because of the professionalism and life-saving skills and treatment that they provide.
When the OPCR final report is complete, it will be made available to the public for review.
This is important and something I strongly believe in. It is also my hope that the media outlet that released this incomplete draft report will be responsible enough to correct the record to reflect the true facts in this matter.