Michael Friedman is the former executive director of the Legal Rights Center. He previously served as chair of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority, serving in that capacity for three years.
Yes on Question 1 for democratic accountability | Opinion
By: Michael Friedman - October 5, 2021
Let’s get this straight. There is no one employed by Minneapolis city government who reports to 14 bosses. No one on the City Council can call a department head and tell them they must do as a boss can tell an employee. When you or I think of what it would mean to have 14 […]
The myth of the “14 bosses”: Police ballot initiative would restore balance — Opinion
By: Michael Friedman - September 10, 2021
Let’s address a common misrepresentation floating around about the Minneapolis police ballot initiative voters will decide on in November: That its passage would lead to the City Council running the new public safety agency — the myth of the 14 bosses. The myth appears to be a public relations strategy to create a vision of […]
Police control is out of control | Opinion
By: Michael Friedman - April 7, 2021
Throughout America, police are authorized to exert control in situations in which law or safety is otherwise challenged. Such control will be imposed by force if necessary. The presumption is that authorizing police control provides the ultimate means to ensure abidance with our collective decision-making, the latter established through the Constitution, legislatures and executive departments, […]
You’re fired! Now what?
By: Michael Friedman - January 11, 2021
The catchphrase — “You’re Fired!” — well associated with Donald J. Trump the real estate celebrity, is now the practical problem for Americans, the bosses of Donald J. Trump our outgoing President. But the question is no longer whether to fire him but how to best handle it. If you’re fired, you don’t usually stick […]
The heads-I-win, tails-you-lose arguments of the City Council’s opponents on police reform
By: Michael Friedman - December 14, 2020
When first voting on several amendments to next cycle’s Minneapolis budget, City Council members were forewarned by opponents that their proposals pertaining to the Police Department were uninformed and could lead to more crime. The City Council’s response: We’re in charge of the budget here and we’re going to act. One might wonder if the […]
In the courtroom and in politics, when you got nothing, you gotta give em something
By: Michael Friedman - October 21, 2020
A recent Minnesota Reformer piece cited Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” — when you ain’t got nothing you got nothing to lose — as one of the songs which describes our current political moment. I agree. But we should not lose track of the implied corollary: When you ain’t got nothing, you gotta give […]
What happens when we dismantle the Police Department? Here’s a plan.
By: Michael Friedman - July 17, 2020
Long before the death of George Floyd, every one of us has carried our own internal risk/benefit calculus about what level of danger would lead us to call police. What has been most significant about the traumatic video of George Floyd’s killing is how much it may have changed that calculus — and broadly across […]