Garland of thorns for MPD revisited

Attorney General Merrick Garland came to town on June 16 to indict the Minneapolis Police Department for racism, find it guilty, and announce the terms to which municipal authorities have agreed. The Department of Justice press release is here, Garland’s remarks at the press conference here, the DoJ’s 89-page report here, and the parties’ settlement in principle here.

The report stems from a DoJ investigation launched in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s conviction of the murder of George Floyd in April 2021. According to the report, the Minneapolis Police Department uses excessive force, including unjustified deadly force, unlawfully discriminates against blacks and Native Americans, violates free speech rights, and discriminates against people with behavioral health disabilities when responding to calls. “The patterns and practices of conduct the Justice Department observed during our investigation are deeply disturbing,” Garland said at the news conference in Minneapolis.

It’s a shame former MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo was absent. Arradondo came up through the ranks to become the department’s first black chief. Did he know he was running a racist department in the years he was responsible for its leadership (2017-2022)? Arradondo could not be reached for comment (not that any reporter has tried).

Greg Pulles is the former general counsel and secretary of TCF Financial Corporation. Greg was available for comment. Introducing the reality principle to the subject, Greg commented on the DoJ report for us in “Garland of thorns.”

Now come Jukka Savolainen and John Paul Wright to follow up with the kind of multivariate analysis Greg insisted on bringing to the subject. Savolainen is the former director of the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data and a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Wayne State University. Wright is a professor at the University of Cincinnati School of Criminal Justice. Their City Journal essay is titled “Maligning Minneapolis.”

The title of the essay should be “Maligning the Minneapolis Police Department.” In this case, Minneapolis maligns itself. Municipal authorities are only too happy to plead guilty on behalf of the Minneapolis Police Department. However, the subhead nails it: “The Department of Justice report on policing in the Twin Cities is a political stunt disguised as an impartial investigation” — as Greg Pulles was saying.

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