End racist behavior, support hard-working officers who reflect our values, and build a department that looks like Minneapolis
Minneapolis City Council Member and mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges released the following plan for police accountability today. Council Member Hodges said:
“Minneapolis police officers serve with integrity and courage every day and I salute them. However, the bigotry and misconduct of a few officers unfairly casts doubt on the entire force.
“The recent racist speech and actions of some of Minneapolis’ police officers are appalling and intolerable. They do not reflect the values of Minneapolis and undermine the trust that Chief Harteau has begun to build in the community. These actions should be punished with all speed available in the law. We must put an end to race- and class-based misconduct by anyone in the Police Department, and change the parts of the culture that allow it to occur. We must also continue to build a department that looks like our city and is responsive to and respectful of all our cultures.
“As Mayor I will:
• Set the expectation from day one that we will not tolerate racist speech and actions on the force;
• Support the Chief’s work to enforce that expectation and build community trust;
• Continue to build a department that looks like our city, by partnering with Minneapolis schools and community organizations to actively recruit a diverse pool of police recruits;
• Make sure that the criteria that we use to hire new officers and form cadet classes reflect our community’s deeply-held values;
• Improve the Police Department’s early-warning systems to identify and help officers treat problems before they turn into misconduct;
• Strengthen the City’s ability to track and punish misbehavior and proven patterns of misconduct, including by negotiating changes to the contract with the Police Federation that will make it easier to enact appropriate discipline swiftly;
• Improve citizens’ and police officers’ ability to file complaints about misconduct without reprisal; and
• Empower staff in my office to work with the police and the community to increase positive relationships and root out systemic problems.
“I have been committed to improving police accountability for the last eight years. As a Council Member, I have worked to: combat misconduct, bigotry and discrimination on the force; improve the Police Civilian Review Authority; create performance measures for the Chief that are based in tackling race and misconduct issues on the force; create an early-detection system to identify potential problems; and make sure the Police Department budget reflects our City’s values.
“Even before I am mayor, I will work with the budget process this fall to ensure that the department has the resources it needs to make sure that officers are effectively and appropriately trained.
“When I am mayor, I will work every day to support hard-working police officers who reflect our values and build a department that looks like our our city.”