The Potluck

George Floyd protest after action audit finds Minneapolis mayor ignored emergency plans

By: - March 8, 2022 12:03 pm

Minneapolis Police guard the Third Precinct on May 27 during protests following the police killing of George Floyd. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer.

Find coverage of the full report here.

An independent audit of Minneapolis’ handling of protests and riots following the police murder of George Floyd found city leaders and police ignored emergency plans in place, instead making decisions on the fly, according to Council Member Robin Wonsley Worlobah, who saw a draft report.

One line in the report Wonsley Worlobah pointed to reads: “We learned that MPD does not adhere to the principles of the ICS (incident command system) but rather addresses emergencies and crises with an ad hoc command structure.”

The report, which has until now been shrouded in secrecy, also says Mayor Jacob Frey’s office “did not ensure the appropriate implementation of the emergency operations plans,” according to Wonsley Worlobah.

The long awaited final report will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday afternoon and details the city’s response in the 10 days following Floyd’s murder during which rioters took over a police station and looted and burned businesses across the city.

Wonsley Worlohbah said ahead of the report’s release, council members were only allowed to review a physical copy that they had to retrieve from the office of Council President Andrea Jenkins or Council Vice President Linea Palmisano.

“I’ve communicated this is absolutely an unacceptable practice,” Wonsley Worlobah said.

The report comes a little over a year after city leaders hired consulting firm Hillard Heintze to conduct an after action review of the city for $230,000.

News organizations including the Reformer have also tried to receive a copy ahead of the independent auditors’ presentation to the council but have been rebuffed and told it’s not yet public.

Palmisano said the report’s release is following the process that all audits follow. She said council members were reviewing a confidential draft report that is not yet finalized.

She said she herself has not seen the final report and declined to confirm the passages shared by Wonsley Worlobah.

Wonsley Worlobah expressed skepticism that the draft report was not final, noting the first page of the copy she reviewed said the report was completed on Feb. 3, 2022.

Palmisano said the city is not able to release the report until the council votes to receive, file and publish the report this afternoon.

She said department heads had until March 2 to make “quantitative changes” to the report in case there was a factual error, but otherwise the audit was completely independent.

“I don’t think any of (the findings) will be a surprise to you. They weren’t to me,” Palmisano said. “We know this didn’t go particularly well. This report and this presentation is going to bring back a lot of memories and raw emotions for our city.”

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.