Civil Rights

Minneapolis city attorneys will be ‘embedded’ in police misconduct investigations

BY: - December 29, 2020

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Tuesday that city attorneys will soon be “embedded” in police misconduct investigations, which they say will speed up the department’s sluggish disciplinary process and provide greater accountability. “Having someone there who is consistently able to bird-dog the process to make sure that we’re following […]

How COVID-19 hollowed out a generation of young Black men

BY: and - December 23, 2020

The Rev. Dr. Kejuane Artez Bates was a big man with big responsibilities. The arrival of the novel coronavirus in Vidalia, Louisiana, was another burden on a body already breaking under the load. Bates was in his 10th year with the Vidalia Police Department, assigned as a resource officer to the upper elementary school. But […]

Six months after court order, Minneapolis has yet to publish any police disciplinary decisions

BY: - December 23, 2020

Following the police killing of George Floyd, the city of Minneapolis entered into an agreement with the state’s Department of Human Rights to reduce police abuses and increase transparency of the department’s disciplinary actions. But more than six months after the order took effect, the city has not yet acted on a key provision: Alerting […]

Ex-Minneapolis cop had history of kicking people in the face

BY: - December 18, 2020

Newly released disciplinary records detail five instances of excessive force by ex-police officer Blayne Lehner, whose misconduct was outlined in a Reformer investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department published earlier this week. The city of Minneapolis provided the documents following a public records request filed in October. The records show that in less than a […]

Nashville attorney Kevin Sharp leads push to free AIM activist Leonard Peltier

BY: - December 17, 2020

Prominent Nashville attorney Kevin Sharp is leading the push to grant clemency to Leonard Peltier, whose conviction 43 years ago has been criticized by politicians, prison reform activists, religious leaders, celebrities and even some of the government officials who helped put him behind bars. Peltier’s case is renowned in the criminal justice world. Peltier admits […]

Minnesota Pardons Board grants Myon Burrell a commutation on his life sentence for killing of 11-year-old girl

BY: - December 15, 2020

The Minnesota Board of Pardons, a three-person panel comprising Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, voted to commute the sentence of Myon Burrell, a 34-year-old man convicted in the 2002 killing of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards. Sentenced originally to life in prison with the possibility of parole, […]

The Bad Cops: How Minneapolis protects its worst police officers until it’s too late

BY: and - December 15, 2020

Officer Blayne Lehner opened the back door of his squad car and grabbed the handcuffed teenager kicking the partition. He ripped Luis Garcia’s 5-foot-5, 125-pound body from the car and dropped him face down on the concrete. Garcia remembers feeling blows to his face before he lost consciousness. Three years later, when the Minneapolis Police […]

Now Rep. Jim Hagedorn also signs on to amicus brief asking court to overturn the election

BY: - December 11, 2020

U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn joined his Minnesota GOP colleagues, Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, who have now all signed off on an amicus brief of a lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the 2020 election results. “Election laws across several states were amended or suspended in the closing months of the 2020 […]

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)

U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber sign on to an amicus brief asking Supreme Court to overturn election

BY: - December 11, 2020

This story has been updated.  U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, the longest serving Minnesota Republican in Congress, signed on to an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the election by invalidating the votes of millions of Americans whose support delivered the presidency to Joseph R. Biden. Emmer is an influential player in the […]

City Council backs Frey’s call to add officers to Minneapolis Police Department

BY: - December 10, 2020

Mayor Jacob Frey and Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo won a symbolic victory when the City Council passed a budget in the early morning hours Thursday that pledges to support Frey’s plan to bolster the Police Department roster to 888 officers after 2021. Just days earlier, the council was poised to allow attrition to reduce […]

With violent crime up, Minneapolis tries something new: Violence interrupters

BY: - December 9, 2020

Muhammad Abdul-Ahad and his crew of about 20 Minneapolis “violence interrupters” were outside of Stop N Shop Tobacco at 17th and Lake Street in Minneapolis when a guy walked up to them looking intoxicated and agitated. “Something was going on,” Abdul-Ahad recalled.  A few minutes later, two cars pulled up and a couple of men […]

Future of Minneapolis Police Department at stake in debate between mayor, council

BY: - December 8, 2020

The Minneapolis City Council president clapped back at Mayor Jacob Frey Tuesday for threatening to veto the municipal budget, saying doing so would lead to a cut in city programs and staff.   Frey threatened a veto Monday night due to the “massive, permanent cut” to police officer staffing made by the City Council during a […]