Paul Ostrow

Paul Ostrow

Paul Ostrow, chair of Fentanyl Free Communities, has been assistant Anoka County attorney for 12 years and previously served as Minneapolis City Council president.


Five takeaways from the Minneapolis Police Department investigations and findings

By: and - July 19, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has completed its investigation, issued findings and negotiated a proposed settlement agreement with the city of Minneapolis. The U.S. Department of Justice also completed its investigation and issued findings; it is now engaged with the city to negotiate — or litigate — a federal consent decree. Both agencies, separately and independently, […]


Let’s applaud the bipartisan approach to fentanyl at the state Capitol, but there’s more work to do

By: - May 17, 2023

A desperate battle has been waged at the Capitol to address the number one killer of people between the ages of 18 and 45 – fentanyl. Minnesota may finally be on a better path.  Thanks to a coalition including grieving families, community leaders, law enforcement and prosecutors, common sense legislation increasing penalties for fentanyl trafficking […]


Public needs access to police discipline records — Legislature needs to end “coaching” loophole

By: - February 16, 2023

The most important police reform issue right now isn’t being debated in any police precinct or city hall or legislative hearing room. The debate is taking place in Hennepin County District Court, where Judge Karen Janisch has been considering the definition of “disciplinary action” as defined in the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.  The case is […]


Minneapolis’ legacy of failure on police accountability

By: - December 13, 2022

Mayor Jacob Frey and members of the Minneapolis City Council have inherited and perpetuated a sad history of failures to fix a long-broken system of police discipline. For the past quarter century or more, these failures have harmed residents — especially people of color —and unfairly tarnished the good name of dedicated officers compelled to […]


Hennepin County prosecutor’s Brady memo falls short

By: and - November 18, 2022

In our August commentary, we outlined a few basic steps to improve Brady disclosure, which is the constitutional requirement that prosecutors fully disclose all evidence relevant to the defense. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office’s recently released Brady policy does not pass constitutional muster and fails to take the steps needed to ensure justice for defendants […]


Brady is a constitutional imperative — here’s how to fix it in Minnesota

By: and - August 12, 2022

Anyone who watches crime shows regularly or is an occasional student of constitutional history is aware of the Warren Court’s landmark decisions in Gideon v. Wainwright and Miranda v. Arizona, guaranteeing every accused the right to counsel and the right to be advised of constitutional rights at the time of arrest. Without Brady v. Maryland, […]