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Department of Justice will review how Minneapolis handled Jamar Clark protests


The U.S. Department of Justice will review how the city of Minneapolis responded to demonstrations following the fatal police-involved shooting of Jamar Clark last November.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau asked the Justice Department last month to do an independent review to assess how the city responded to protesters' 18-day occupation outside the Fourth Precinct police station.

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, the Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) said its Critical Response Technical Assistance program will be looking into the city's response to the protests, which will not only benefit Minneapolis, but other police departments across the country.

“An after-action review of a high-profile incident can provide lessons learned, both positive and negative, that are extremely beneficial to the more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the nation,” COPS Office Director Ronald Davis said in a news release. “It is critical that city leaders are open to examining their own actions and practices and commit to making improvements wherever possible. I applaud Minneapolis Mayor Hodges and Police Chief Harteau for their leadership for asking for this review.”

COPS Office Deputy Director Robert Chapman says the assessment will include analysis and recommendations in regards to the department's response to the Fourth Precinct protests, but specifics of what they'll be looking into won't be known until they begin their work.

He did say they will talk to community members to get their perspective. The review will also likely lead them to discuss police use of force, training, and equipment and technology, among other things, Chapman said in the call.

There's no specific timeline for the review, but COPS hopes to have a report available by early fall. The report could be used help guide the police department for future incidents.

COPS did similar assessments following the protests in Ferguson, Missouri (read that report here), and at other departments across the country. Read more here.

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