Reports of Discrimination on the Rise in Minneapolis

October 18, 2018 10:12 PM

Discrimination complaints coming into the city of Minneapolis are way up compared to this time last year.

The city started a specific effort to take discrimination and hate crime calls last June.

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City data shows 65 actionable discrimination reports have come in so far in 2018, tripling the number received last year at this time.

The majority of discrimination complaints are based on race. The second leading reason people in Minneapolis call in has to do with disability discrimination.

Data shows most complaints deal with allegations of improper treatment by employers and issues with property rights.


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Outside of Minneapolis, discrimination made headlines most recently when the owner of a Chaska haunted house posted a zero-tolerance policy for Somalis.

That owner has since apologized and retracted his statement but that one story alone was enough to cause statewide outrage.

In Minneapolis, discrimination complaints are more common than you may think.

"We get complaints on a daily basis," said Taylor Crouch-Dodson, an intake officer with the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights.

When a complaint comes in, an intake officer like usually sets up a meeting to gather evidence, documentation and build a timeline.

Crouch-Dodson works with a team to investigate and eventually bring legal action, if necessary.  

"We're there to provide for them a way to tell their story honestly and to be able to give it to a neutral agency that hopefully can look into it and investigate the claims," Crouch-Dodson said.

Sometimes, a report must be referred to Minneapolis police and the FBI for a criminal investigation, like if there was harassment, vandalism or arson with biased intent behind it.

That's happened five times so far this year just within the city of Minneapolis. Those reports have mostly surrounded race, religion and sexual orientation.

"It's difficult," said Crouch-Dodson. "The work can be hard but we're trying to walk with them and provide some type of solution."

Most calls that rise to the level of an investigation end with a settlement including a plan to help the offender to change their behavior in the future.

If you're in Minneapolis and want to report a complaint, dial 311.

Credits

Katherine Johnson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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