2/17/2010 Newsletter


  • Media Release: Court Orders CRA Chair to Follow the Law



February 16, 2010
For Immediate Release

Late this afternoon, in response to our writ petition filed on February 12, Judge Susan Burke issued a Writ of Mandamus ordering CRA board chair Don Bellfield to submit notice to Minneapolis City Council’s Executive Committee of Police Chief Tim Dolan’s failure to follow the discipline section of the CRA ordinance (172.130). The order also requires Mr. Bellfield to inform the Executive Committee that Chief Dolan's failure to follow the ordinance can subject him to discipline. Mr. Bellfield is required to provide proof to the court that he has issued the notice or to appear in court at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning before Judge Burke to show cause as to why he failed to comply.

The timing of this notice is critical, as the Executive Committee will be voting on the chief’s nomination for reappointment at their meeting at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

Attached please find a copy of Judge Burke's order along with a copy of our petition requesting this order, which provides ample evidence of Chief Dolan's failure to follow the CRA ordinance.

Judge Burke did not take up the second part of our writ petition, which would compel Chief Dolan to follow the ordinance. Judge Burke has been hearing a jury trial for the last several days and in a separate communication, we informed her that this was the less urgent part of our petition. She is expected to rule on this second aspect of the petition in the near future.

“We are gratified that the court has ruled that Chair Bellfield is not above the law,” stated Michelle Gross, President of Communities United Against Police Brutality. She added, “This ruling validates the role and mission of the CRA. We look forward to an order compelling Chief Dolan to follow the law on disciplining sustained CRA cases.”


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