A plan before the Minneapolis City Council that would create a police oversight commission would not fix the problems plaguing the police civilian review process, activists said Monday.
The activists said at a City Hall news conference that the proposed Community Commission on Police Oversight wouldn't address some of the current system's most serious shortcomings involving police misconduct. They urged council members to reject the proposal in a vote next week.
The plan for a new review process would combine the Office of Police Conduct Review and the Police Conduct Oversight Commission into one body. It would consist of 15 civilian members — 13 appointed by the council and two by the mayor.
Review panels, with two civilians and two sworn police personnel, would remain the same, forwarding their recommendations to the police chief.
Shortcomings cited by the groups include having members of the review board appointed instead of elected; allowing law enforcement to have a part on review panels; and not allowing the Community Commission on Police Oversight to enforce its conclusions. Instead, the conclusions would be just recommendations to the police chief, the activists said.
"I'm going to call this for what I see it as, which is just more duplicity advisement from the government," said Linden Gawboy of Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar, which pushes for police accountability after officers shot and killed Minneapolis civilian Jamar Clark in 2015. "What they're doing is they're using the same old crap and they're putting up a different name on it and the name is a lie."
Activists advocated for their plan for a Coalition Police Accountability Committee (CPAC) to be placed on the ballot in 2023. It would include having all members be elected, giving the group the power to review the Police Department's budget for redundancies and allowing it to review patterns and police behavior.
"We're really urging people to educate themselves on what this proposal actually is," said Jae Yates, a Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar organizer. "Without CPAC the Police Department will continue to act the same way that they always do."