Minneapolis Police Change How Suspects Are Searched Before Interrogation Room Questioning

March 07, 2018 09:35 PM

The Minneapolis Police Department has made changes to what happens before suspects are taken into interrogation rooms to be questioned.

The protocol shift is a result of the December officer-involved shooting of 18-year-old Marcus Fischer.

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Court documents filed Friday reveal new details about the shooting that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigated. Fischer is facing attempted assault on a peace officer charges.

RELATED: Man Shot by Police at Minneapolis City Hall Charged in Connection to the Incident

According to the criminal complaint, a Minneapolis police officer arrested Fischer for aggravated robbery and assault. He is accused of robbing a man who was trying to sell him a firearm, then shooting him in the chest.

The complaint states the two arresting officers pat-searched Fischer twice, but that "despite the two pat searches, the defendant was able to secrete on his person an approximately 4 inch folding knife in his waist band of his trousers."

RELATED: Fischer Makes First Court Appearance Since Being Shot at Minneapolis City Hall

When Fischer asked for some water, the documents explain, two MPD detectives left him in the interview room alone. Investigators said that's when he "reached into his trousers and retrieved (the knife.)"

Detectives are now required to use a metal detecting wand on every suspect before they are put into an interrogation room, according to an MPD spokesperson.

The change is intended to keep both the suspects and the officers safe. The department is also working on installing TV monitors on the outside of interview rooms that allow officers to see what's happening on the inside.

RELATED: Police Officers Shoot, Critically Wound Suspect Inside Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis Police Officers Federation president Bob Kroll said the officers who missed the knife made a common oversight.

"In Minnesota, in the winter, they're wearing layers upon layers of clothing," Kroll said. "It's much harder for officers to get a good, thorough pat search."

Kroll said he agrees with the changes.

"If they're going to wand people, yeah, that's great," Kroll said. "In the presence of officers, when they are handcuffed, it'll improve safety."
 

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Kirsten Swanson

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