Report: Only 1.5 percent of MPD complaints leads to discipline

CNN analyzed six years of complaints against Minneapolis cops.
Publish date:

A new report is raising further questions about the way the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) polices its own officers. 

This weekend, CNN published the results of its investigation into several years' worth of complaints against Minneapolis cops.

The conclusion? A noticeably low number of those complaints resulted in discipline. 

According to the network, there were 2,013 reports alleging officer misconduct between 2013 and 2019; only "about 1.5%" of them lead to "suspensions, terminations or demotions."

CNN points out that "while no national data exists on the outcome of police complaints filed across the country," law enforcement experts "agreed that the ratio of complaints filed to officers disciplined in Minneapolis seems low."

You can read CNN's full report right here. 

The investigation comes at a time of intense scrutiny of the MPD, which was triggered by the killing of George Floyd last month — an incident that has resulted in global protests and civil unrest.

As a result of the fallout, city leaders and activists are proposing profound reforms of the department, with some calling for "disbanding" it and replacing it with a more community-focused organization. 

Amid a national movement to "Defund the Police," five Minneapolis City Council members have signaled their intentions to propose an ordinance that would effectively take the MPD out of the city's charter

Chief among those calling for change is Northside council member Jeremiah Ellison, who earlier this month tweeted, "we are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department."

"And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together," he added. "We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due."

However, there are still few details on how such changes would be implemented and what they would mean for criminal law in Minneapolis. 

Meanwhile, Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo made headlines last week when he ended contract negotiations with the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, the union for the city's cops.

He has said he wants a union contract that makes it easier to fire problematic officers, after multiple instances in recent years where officers terminated for misconduct have been reinstated after union appeals and arbitration decisions. 

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