Civil Rights

International law firm quietly becomes key player in Minneapolis police reform effort

BY: - November 24, 2021

An international law firm based in Ohio is playing an increasingly large role in how the city of Minneapolis handles a variety of controversial police issues, from investigating police misconduct to representing the city as its police force is investigated by state and federal officials. What started out as free work representing the city in […]

With cops down and shootings up, Minneapolis residents frustrated by police inaction

BY: - November 9, 2021

When two men started firing guns outside his north Minneapolis house one afternoon, Mike Rhodes dropped to the floor and called the cops. The shooters were gone by the time the police arrived, but Rhodes saw them back in his yard hours later. But when Rhodes called 911 to alert them, he said the cops […]

National school boards group apologizes for requesting probe of threats against local officials

BY: - October 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools. The shift came after Republican members of Congress led by Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley raised […]

Senate Republicans attack county attorney for car stop policy

BY: - October 21, 2021

Senate Republicans and some law enforcement officials criticized Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s decision not to prosecute cases that stem solely from traffic stops unrelated to public safety.  A Senate hearing on Thursday focused on the rising crime in the Twin Cities metro and featured a slate of testifiers that included Ramsey County Sheriff Bob […]

Minnesota is not alone: State redistricting stumbles amidst familiar partisan infighting

BY: - October 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — This year’s round of redistricting is already crumbling into partisanship and court challenges in multiple states, even as voters pay more attention than ever to new political maps that will shape elections for a decade. Hopes were high initially. Advocates in several states pushed measures over the last few years that they hoped […]

U.S. Senate Republicans again block debate on voting rights legislation

BY: - October 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republicans blocked the advance of voting rights legislation Wednesday, the second time this year — thwarting again Democrats’ attempts to pass federal protections for voters amid a slew of new state elections laws.  “When we are faced with a coordinated effort across our country to limit the freedom to vote, we […]

Sen. Tina Smith, former chief of staff to Rybak, will vote no on Question 2

BY: - October 19, 2021

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who is a Minneapolis resident when not in Washington, said Tuesday that she will vote no on Question 2 — the Minneapolis police ballot initiative — joining Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Walz in opposition.  Smith, once chief of staff to former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said that she agrees with much […]

Wisconsin, worst in nation, incarcerates one out of every 36 Black residents

BY: - October 18, 2021

A new report by the Sentencing Project is casting a damning light on Wisconsin’s incarceration of Black and Latino people. The report, drawing on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that one out of every 36 Black Wisconsin adults is incarcerated within a state prison — giving […]

How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

BY: - October 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — A six-week abortion ban in Texas enacted in September forced those seeking abortion services in the Lone Star State to look across state lines for care.  But the timing couldn’t have been worse for Texans living near the state’s eastern border. The law took effect as neighboring Louisiana was reeling from the destruction […]

Minneapolis Mayor: Video of police department’s response to unrest ‘galling’ 

BY: - October 8, 2021

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said it was “galling” to see recently released body camera video footage giving a behind-the-scenes look at how Minneapolis police officers behaved as they struggled to regain control of the city after five days of civil unrest sparked by George Floyd’s police killing.

Cyber Ninjas CEO refuses to testify at congressional hearing on Arizona ‘audit’

BY: - October 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — When the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee holds a hearing Thursday to probe the so-called election “audit” in Arizona, the CEO of the company hired to conduct that controversial review will be absent. Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, was asked to testify but told committee officials ahead of the hearing that he […]

Group evaluating MPD protest response are mostly law enforcement veterans

BY: - October 5, 2021

Minneapolis hired the firm of Hilliard Heintze to evaluate the city’s response to the protests and civil unrest following the police murder of George Floyd. Seven of the eight members of the team doing the work are law enforcement veterans, and the eighth is a firefighter.