Harteau closes advisory council meeting to public, media

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A Chief's Citizen's Advisory Council meeting prompted by recent race-related altercations involving Minneapolis police officers will be closed to citizens and reporters Wednesday afternoon.

An attorney for KSTP filed a written objection Wednesday morning with the police department and the City Attorney, citing the state's Open Meetings Law. The city responded to the television station saying that since the council has no "policy-making" or "decision-making power," the state does not apply.

KSTP reported the decision to close the meeting is a direct conflict the Harteau's pledge of "transparency." A news conference is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. following the meeting.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau formed the 42-member council of religious and cultural leaders, along with members of the police union, to begin rebuilding trust with the community following two highly-publicized incidents.

In late June, two white off-duty MPD officers got into a fight with several black man outside a bar in Green Bay. Dash cam video shows the Minneapolis officers using racial slurs and disparaging Harteau.

Another incident brought to light last week occurred last year outside a bar in Apple Valley. A fight involving three white off-duty MPD officers and a group of black men lead to the officers' arrests. A police report stated one of the officers pushed a man to the ground and used a racial slur.

Several black community leaders took issue with the advisory council formed by Harteau, arguing that the community should choose who will represent it, the Star Tribune reported.

At a news conference Wednesday, the group called for the firing of the officers who used racist language, an independent investigation of all Twin Cities police departments and the police union's cooperation that suspended officers be suspended without pay.

The leaders also renewed a request for an impartial investigation to be conducted into the death of Terrence Franklin, a burglary suspect fatally shot in Uptown on May 10.

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