Communities United Against Police BrutalityTM is a Twin-Cities based organization that was created to deal with police brutality on an ongoing basis. We work on the day-to-day abuses as well as taking on the more extreme cases. Our overriding goal is to create a climate of resistance to abuse of authority by police organizations and to empower local people with a structure that can take on police brutality and actually bring it to an end. We provide support for survivors of police brutality and families of victims so they can reclaim their dignity and join the struggle to end police brutality.
ENDING POLICE-ONLY RESPONSES TO MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS CALLS
People with untreated mental illnesses are a staggering 16 times more likely than others to be shot and killed by police. Fully 50% of people killed by police had a disability.
The most appropriate responders to mental health crisis calls are mental health crisis teams. The Mental Health Work Group of CUAPB is working to end police-only responses to mental health crises. We passed Travis' Law to ensure 911 call centers send mental health crisis teams to these calls. We need help to understand how well counties across the state are implementing Travis' Law.
-->TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS RESPONSE IN MINNESOTA<--
We are working on a project to understand how well Travis' Law is being implemented. If you or a family member have had a mental health crisis encounter since September 2021, please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey. THANK YOU!
Justice FINALLY for the Family of Marcus Golden!
The city of St. Paul has settled with the family of Marcus Golden for $1.3 million dollars and some non-monetary conditions for the St. Paul Police murder of Marcus Golden. In addition, Marcus’ mother and grandmother reached separate settlements for being wrongfully detained by St. Paul police.
Saturday, January 14, 2023 marked the 8-year anniversary of Marcus’ killing. Since the day he was killed, Marcus’ family has worked to clear his name from lies told by St. Paul police to justify his killing. Marcus’ death was initially investigated by the St. Paul police themselves. A thorough investigation by Communities United Against Police Brutality’s Reinvestigation Work Group, aided by a hired ballistics expert, uncovered and documented many new facts about the incident that repudiate the initial investigation and paint a very different picture of what happened to Marcus at the hands of police. This new evidence is outlined in our report.
Although Marcus’ family filed their lawsuit almost 6 years after he was killed, well beyond the statute of limitations for a state wrongful death claim, the information uncovered in our investigation allowed the attorneys to amend the lawsuit to include a claim of wrongful death under the murder exception, a state statute that removes the statute of limitations for intentional actions constituting murder. Officers Doverspike and Peck faced the very real possibility of being tried for murder in a civil trial. The murder exception also opens up the possibility for families with older cases to secure justice for their loved ones.
Link to 1/19/23 Press Conference Slides on the Reinvestigation of Marcus Golden's killing
Golden Case Reinvestigation Report
CUAPB End of Year Review 2022
This has been a very special year in the history of Communities United Against Police Brutality. For over 20 years, we have been an all-volunteer organization. That changed this year when we formed our Litigation Unit, hiring Paul Bosman as Chief Counsel. We remain a volunteer-led organization but our efforts over the last year have positioned us to accomplish even more in 2023. Check out our End of Year 2022 Report to learn about all of our big accomplishments in the past year.
Please help us do this work! We are people-powered and we would love to have you join us. We meet every Saturday and our work is carried out through work groups that meet throughout the week. Click the link on our website to volunteer or check out our calendar. If your time is limited but you still want to help, donations to fund our work are always welcome. We don’t seek grants or government funds so we rely on individual contributions to fund our work.
Thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to a very productive new year.
Click here to review the report
Click here for a short video summary of the report
CUAPB RELEASES VIDEO SHOWING TEKLE SUNDBERG SHOOTING WAS NOT JUSTIFIED
CUAPB has obtained video from a community member that captured the critical moments before Tekle Sundberg was shot and killed by police. To place the video in context, we compiled it with other videos showing the scene from various angles and perspectives. The only conclusion that can be reached from this video evidence is that the MPD shooting of Tekle Sundberg was not justified.
Under Minnesota Statute 609.066, officers may only use deadly force when their lives or the lives of others are imperiled based on the totality of the circumstances in the immediate moment that deadly force is used. What that means is that the decision to kill someone cannot be based on their behavior hours earlier. It must be based on what happened in that moment.
At the time Tekle was shot by MPD snipers Aaron Pearson and Zachary Seraphine, he was standing in the window of his apartment, breaking out bits of glass from the window. He may have had a knife or cell phone in his hand but it is clear he did not have a gun in his hand and posed no immediate danger to police or the public.
Article: Bystander Video Raises Questions in Sundberg Killing (Southwest Connector, August 31, 2022)
The compilation video is available here. The full community member video is available here.
MDHR and DOJ INVESTIGATIONS of the MINNEAPOLIS POLICE
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) recently completed an investigation into the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department. You can read the result of their investigation here.
The US Department of Justice is in the midst of their investigation of the Minneapolis Police. Like the MDHR, they are looking at the use of force by the police and whether the police engage in racial discrimination. They are also looking at the use of force against protesters and police treatment of people with disabilities, including people living with mental illness. We have asked them to look into MPD treatment of people experiencing homelessness and the MPD’s poor quality of investigations into murders of people of color.
Our goal is to make sure these investigations are informed by the experiences and demands of the community.
What's the timeline for these investigations?
The MDHR investigation is complete. The DOJ investigation is expected to continue until the end of 2022.
What will come out of these investigations?
The MDHR is putting together a consent decree--a list of required changes. The consent decree will then be presented in court and Minneapolis will be ordered to follow it. The city risks sanctions (fines) if they don't follow it. The MDHR is gathering community input and expects to submit the consent decree to the court in September. They will also select a monitor
If the DOJ investigation is done well, they will learn about the many issues with policing in Minneapolis. They will also put together a consent decree. If the city doesn’t follow it, the federal government could take over our police department, a process called receivership.
Here’s how you can get involved:
- Help decide what should become part of the consent decree.
- Use this form to share your experience and ideas with the MDHR and DOJ.
- Help us collect other people’s experiences and ideas.
You can also share your ideas for the consent decree directly with the MDHR here.
You can also report your experiences with the Minneapolis Police directly to the DOJ. Call 866-432-0268 or email [email protected]
This is an important opportunity to address our policing issues—we all need to be part of the solution!
STOLEN LIVES JUSTICE FUND
We refer to people who have lost their lives through the actions of law enforcement as Stolen Lives. CUAPB helps many families of stolen lives to gather evidence in their cases, hire an attorney, deal with media, etc. We also operate a fund to help pay for independent autopsies, investigators, legal fees and other needs that allow families to achieve a measure of justice.
We have started a newsletter that will feature cases we are working on and the impact of the Stolen Lives Justice Fund in the lives of families. Please check out these editions. Please consider supporting the fund by becoming a monthly sustainer. Your help makes a world of difference to the families of people lost to police violence.
Stolen Lives Justice Fund Newsletter #1 (October 2021)
Stolen Lives Justice Fund Monthly Calendar 2022