Unlicensed company losing business after state lawsuit filed
A Twin Cities company promoting ‘de-escalation services’ is losing business over a lawsuit brought by the state.
Men In Black Security, LLC (MIB) is the company facing legal action. The Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services is the entity that filed the lawsuit.
Community Medical Services in north Minneapolis is parting ways with MIB due to the lawsuit. The health clinic told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it ended its contract with the security company Friday night, after finding out about the lawsuit and the fact that MIB is not licensed through the state.
The summons comes after years of investigation.
“One of the things that slowed our lawyer down is every time we thought we had the case ready to be filed, and needed to be, we get more evidence that they continue to perform security functions,” Richard Hodsdon, chair of Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services, said about MIB.
Hodsdon said the company applied for a security license in 2021, but according to the lawsuit, it was denied due to the owner’s “past conviction for illegally possessing a pistol.” But, he said despite the lack of license, MIB continued to work.
The lawsuit contains pictures that back up Hodsdon’s claims — including one showing advertising on a truck from this year.
Another picture shows MIB employees in full security gear.
The lawsuit also says MIB employees “appear to be armed” in one of the photos.
“The practice of being a security officer in the state of Minnesota without a license is a crime. It’s a gross misdemeanor,” Hodsdon said.
We first shared about MIB in March when the unlicensed company made a pitch to the city of Brooklyn Park to handle the city’s violence interruption work. MIB was chosen to get the $650,000 deal, but it was never signed.
The city’s police chief explained in a May city council meeting that the deal wasn’t done because of a pending state investigation.
In its pitch, and still today, MIB claims to be a de-escalation specialist, but Hodsdon and his board still feel their actions warranted the legal action.
“Police officers in the state of Minnesota now, by definition, because of legislative enactments, have to have de-escalation training… But, that doesn’t mean they’re not police officers,” Hodsdon said.
If MIB doesn’t stop, Hodsdon said a judge will get involved and those in charge could face jail time.
“It’s a matter of consumer protection,” Hodsdon said, adding, “You want to make sure the people have that you hired to guard your property, your possessions, your family, yourself, your loved ones, are properly trained, and been properly vetted, properly credentialed that they themselves are not criminals.”
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to MIB multiple times, but as of Friday night had not heard back.