Dayton arrests new MPD plan to use state investigators

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Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau with some fanfare on Wednesday announced a new plan to use state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators to probe cases in which police officers seriously hurt or kill someone. But Gov. Mark Dayton promptly put the arrangement on hold.

Harteau did not notify Dayton's office about the plan, which would put more strain on state investigators, a Dayton spokesman said.

“The Minneapolis Chief of Police unilaterally announced this proposed arrangement without first notifying the Commissioner of Public Safety, Governor Dayton, or the Governor’s Chief of Staff — a course of action that the Governor considers extremely inappropriate,” Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune, the newspaper reported.

Swenson said that until further notice, pending more communication between the governor's office and Harteau, the new plan is "inoperative."

Harteau is "perplexed" by Dayton's reaction, MPR News reported. Harteau noted that MPD and BCA officials have been meeting about the new arrangement for several months and that they had agreed it would take effect Monday. "I think the confusion lies with when the notifications were made, not with the protocol or the response, but with the notification," the chief said, MPR reported.

KSTP reported that Harteau had sought to regain some public trust with the new plan. "There was concern by members of this council and members of the community with why Minneapolis continues to investigate their own in critical incidents," Harteau said.

The plan had drawn some praise. “I think it’s consistent with the chief’s commitment to accountability and transparency,” Council Member Don Samuels said, the Star Tribune reported.

Harteau's announcement followed the widely publicized case of robbery suspect Terrance Franklin, who was fatally shot by Minneapolis police officers on May 10. The department weathered some criticism for conducting its own internal investigation.

In September, a Hennepin County grand jury issued a decision that there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the officers.

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