Newsletter – August 9th, 2021

Hi Neighbor,

One thing our elected officials have owed Minneapolis residents for a long time is an in-depth, honest review of what happened in our city last summer.

Thousands of our neighbors took to the streets to protest the murder of George Floyd. During those protests, hundreds of Minneapolitans, and several members of the press, were injured by rubber bullets or other supposedly “less lethal” forms of crowd suppression. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that of the 89 people they found who were injured between May 26th and June 15th of last year, 10 sustained eye trauma, 7 underwent surgery for their injuries, and 16 had traumatic brain injuries. There are multiple videos of MPD officers indiscriminately using pepper spray on crowds of protesters and journalists from moving squad cars.

When Daunte Wright was killed by police in Brooklyn Center earlier this year, the response was the same. Residents in nearby apartments who were not participating in the protests were also struck by “less lethal” ammunition and children were affected by the tear gas seeping into their apartments. Yet Council Member Palmisano was the only Minneapolis City Council Member to vote against a non-binding resolution condemning the use of tear gas and rubber bullets at these protests.

Now she’s taking credit for leading an independent investigation into the use of force and crowd control measures used last summer. That independent investigation is being managed by a consulting firm made up almost entirely of ex-police officers, including several with their own troubling histories of misconduct. One of the firm’s founders, Terry Hillard, was named in four misconduct lawsuits that cost Chicago $22,928,958 while he was the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.

We deserve an honest, unbiased report on what happened in our city and, unfortunately, I don’t believe that this company will provide that for us. This effort is being funded by taxpayer money, and residents need to be able to trust the information they are paying for. I encourage you to participate in one of the community listening sessions taking place this Thursday, August 12th, and Friday, August 13th, so you can see their report yourself and make your voice heard.