Minneapolis City Council searches for agreement on consent decree, police oversight

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The Minneapolis City Council is still awaiting information on what consent decrees from both the U.S. Justice Department and the State Human Rights Department will look like when it comes to overseeing Minneapolis police officers.

In late April, Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero revealed the results of a two-year investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department after the murder of George Floyd.

That lengthy report had scathing findings of racial discrimination and civil rights violations.

“We found racial discrimination in how MPD officers use force and conduct traffic stops against people of color,” Lucero told the Minneapolis City Council on Tuesday.  “And this is particularly Black community members.”

Some City Council members asked Lucero to provide specific details about some of the MDHR findings regarding MPD bias, but the commissioner did not offer any specifics on any of the issues.

This comes as the city and MDHR are trying to come to an agreement on a consent decree, a legal agreement negotiated between the two sides about how MPD will be run in the future. That consent decree has to be approved by a judge.

City Council Member Elliott Payne asked what happens if the U.S. Justice Department, which is conducting an investigation into MPD right now, issues a consent decree along with the state.

Lucero told him that is a question best answered by the city attorney.

Mayor Jacob Frey told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he has a definitive opinion on what he wants to see with a consent decree from either the feds or the state.

“To be clear, we cannot have two different consent decrees,” Frey said. “Two different monitors, two different judges that are overseeing the whole thing. That will make it substantially more difficult to get the necessary change done that I think we all want to see.”

City leaders and the MDHR were expected to start negotiations Tuesday after two previous attempts to meet were canceled by the city.