Minneapolis police used traffic stops and fake social media profiles to target communities of color


“Since 2010, of the 14 people that MPD officers have killed, 13 of these people have been folks of colour or Indigenous people,” the report states. “Folks of colour and Indigenous people comprise roughly 42% of the Minneapolis inhabitants however comprise 93% of all MPD officer-involved deaths between January 1, 2010, to February 2, 2022.”

A transparent racial disparity will be seen within the widespread use of chemical and different “less-lethal” weapons as nicely. MPD officers deploy pepper spray in opposition to Black folks at the next charge than they do in opposition to white folks. From the report: “Officers recorded utilizing chemical irritants in 25.1% of use of power incidents involving Black people. In distinction, MPD officers recorded utilizing chemical irritants in 18.2% of use of power incidents involving white people in comparable circumstances.” Total, in line with the report, “between January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2020, 63% of all use of power incidents that MPD officers recorded have been in opposition to Black people.” 

Visitors stops have been sadly no totally different. “Though Black people comprise roughly 19% of the Minneapolis inhabitants, MPD’s information exhibits that from January 1, 2017, to Could 24, 2020, 78%—or over 6,500—of all searches performed by MPD officers have been searches of Black people or their autos throughout officer-initiated visitors stops.” Black folks in Minneapolis are at six instances larger danger of being handled with power throughout visitors stops than their white neighbors, in line with the report. 

The Minneapolis Police Division has not replied to our request for remark. 

The Secret Police: An MIT Expertise Evaluate investigation

This story is a part of a sequence that gives an unprecedented take a look at the best way federal and native legislation enforcement employed superior expertise instruments to create a complete surveillance system within the streets of Minneapolis, and what it means for the way forward for policing. You’ll find the complete sequence right here.

Unlawful surveillance

The report additionally describes the division’s use of secret social media accounts to observe Black folks: “MPD officers used covert, or pretend, social media accounts to surveil and interact Black people, Black organizations, and elected officers unrelated to felony exercise, with out a public security goal.” 

On-line, officers used covert accounts to comply with, remark in, and message teams just like the NAACP and the City League whereas posing as like-minded people. 

“In a single case, an MPD officer used an MPD covert account to pose as a Black group member to ship a message to a neighborhood department of the NAACP criticizing the group. In one other case, an MPD officer posed as a group member and RSVP’d to attend the celebration of a distinguished Black civil rights lawyer and activist,” the report says.

Equally, MIT Expertise Evaluate’s reporting exhibits that officers saved at the least three watch lists of individuals current at and round protests associated to race and policing. 9 state and native policing teams have been a part of a multi-agency response program referred to as Operation Security Web, which labored in live performance with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Division of Homeland Safety to accumulate surveillance instruments, compile information units, and enhance communication sharing through the racial justice protests within the state. This system continued long gone its publicly introduced demobilization.

Although our investigation didn’t probe the extent of racial bias, it confirmed that native, state, and federal legislation enforcement companies discovered to work in live performance to render nameless protesting—a core tenet of free-speech safety underneath the First Modification of the US Structure—all however inconceivable. 



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