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Minneapolis police announce disciplinary process changes

The mayor and police chief said the new process continues MPD's commitment to accountability changes.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo have announced that MPD will now work with the city attorney's office to overhaul the department's disciplinary process, as part of the city's larger commitment to accountability changes for MPD.

Frey said the new process will improve the likelihood of any disciplinary actions being upheld by an arbitrator.

"In Minnesota, more than 50% of all disciplinary and discharge decisions are reduced or overturned completely through this arbitration process," Frey said. "Arbitrators will often cite due process concerns, including faulty investigations as the reason for overturning those decisions. That's unacceptable."

The three key changes announced Tuesday include "embedding" a city attorney early in the process of any police misconduct investigations to "increase investigative integrity," according to Frey. That city attorney would review and provide guidance in an investigation, including help with analyzing available evidence.

In addition, a city attorney will also provide legal counsel to the police chief for any disciplinary decisions.

The changes also call for city attorney's office staff to work with the MPD training unit to review police training materials, to ensure the training fosters a culture of accountability and professionalism.

"While we can't predict or control how an arbitrator will act, what we can do is continue to exercise control over our internal processes, and enhance the integrity of our investigations," Frey said. 

In response, the Minneapolis Police Federation said it did not oppose the changes, but offered the following statement:

“With historically high crime occurring in Minneapolis, it’s a shame that the priorities of city leaders are so out of focus.  The Federation welcomes the changes they make in their investigative process.  We appreciate thorough fact finding.  We just wish the Chief would discuss these things directly with us, rather than finding out from the press.  He has skipped Labor/Management meetings most of the year.” 

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