Police report a good first step

Total complaints dropped but more transparency is needed.

Last week the United States Department of Justice presented the results of an analysis of the Minneapolis Police Department. Compiled at the MPD’s request, the report focused on police misconduct complaints over a six-year period ending in 2013.

The report concluded that, although the overall number of complaints filed against police dropped over the period of review, the department still needs to improve its communication and transparency with the public. The report’s recommendations include developing relationships with local faith leaders and youth, increasing officers’ diversity and cultural training, and educating the public about how to file complaints.

However, several activist organizations, including Black Lives Matter and Communities Against Police Brutality, have panned the report, referring to it as “bogus” and a “farcical joke.”

These demands are overall much stronger than those recommended in the Department of Justice’s report, but several of them overlap, including better cultural training and more community input.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said the report was “about building community relations and public trust.” Although the recommendations may not be as strong as many would like, the MPD’s apparent willingness to implement them is a good first step toward creating a better and more trusting relationship between citizens and police in Minneapolis.