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.
MDHR Consent Decree with Minneapolis
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) completed an investigation into the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department. You can read the result of their investigation here. The MDHR found widespread discrimination and problem conduct. As a result, they negotiated a consent decree with the city. A consent decree is a court-enforceable agreement for a list of changes the city and police department must make.
The consent decree is made up of 13 parts that address many areas of policing including non-biased policing, use of force, searches, seizures and arrests, accountability, and other important aspects of the MPD’s interactions with the community. Also included are measures on training and officer wellness. Our analysis of the agreement is ongoing. You can find it here.
What does all of this mean for the community?
Although the MDHR and the city have negotiated the agreement, it had not yet been approved by the court. That’s were the community comes in.
We have submitted a request for the court to hold fairness hearings, which are public hearings where people can ask for items to be added or changed in the agreement. You can write Judge Karen Janisch at the Hennepin County Government Center or leave her a message at 612-348-0705 to encourage her to hold these hearings.
Once the agreement is finalized, the judge will have to appoint a team to monitor the city’s progress on the agreement and report back to the judge. Experiences around the country show us that having a great monitor team is the secret to a successful agreement. The city and the MDHR will each nominate two teams and will then hold public forums for the community to meet the teams. This is a second important way for the community to be involved.
Finally, as the city begins to work on implementing the requirements of the consent decree, the monitor team should check in regularly with the community about how the city is doing. Take advantage of every opportunity to give them an honest assessment about whether the city and the MPD are making the changes that need to be made.
The bottom line is that it is still up to the community to make sure the MDHR consent decree brings about the changes we need:
- Attend any fairness hearings and give your input on the agreement.
- Give your input on the monitor team.
- Once the consent decree is approved, share your feedback with the monitor team.
Keep an eye on our website and our Facebook page for the dates of hearings and public forums.
DOJ INVESTIGATION of the MINNEAPOLIS POLICE
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 this investigation?
The DOJ investigation is ongoing, with no definitive deadline.
What will come out of this investigation?
The likely outcome will be a consent decree--a court-enforceable agreement with a list of required changes. The consent decree will then be presented in court and Minneapolis will be ordered to follow it. The court will appoint a monitor team to determine if the city is making strides toward implementing the required changes. The city risks sanctions (fines) if they don't. Ultimately, if the city fails to make the changes required by the consent decree, 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 DOJ.
- Help us collect other people’s experiences and ideas.
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!
-->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!
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