Dayton's office halts Minneapolis police plan to use state investigators

A plan announced today by Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau to bring in state investigators to look at incidents where Minneapolis police hurt or kill someone has already hit a roadblock.

A spokesman for Gov. Mark Dayton said on Wednesday night that Harteau's plan to ask the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to take over investigation of these officer-related incidents is "inoperative" until all the parties involved reach an agreement.

"The Minneapolis Chief of Police unilaterally announced this proposed arrangement without first notifying the Commissioner of Public Safety, Governor Dayton, or the Governor's Chief of Staff — a course of action that the Governor considers extremely inappropriate," Dayton spokesperson Matt Swenson said in a statement.

Harteau said she's "rather perplexed" by the response from Dayton's office.

"We've been working in conjunction with the BCA for several months — and as late as last Friday — on the protocol, and it was everybody's understanding this was going to start on Monday," Harteau said. "I think the confusion lies with when the notifications were made, not with the protocol or the response, but with the notification."

Harteau said she first made the request in July and met with Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman at that time.

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The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension routinely investigates so-called "critical incidents" at the request of local law enforcement agencies.

The change in policy proposed by Harteau follows the shooting death of 22-year-old Terrance Franklin in the basement of a home in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood in May. Franklin, who police say was fleeing officers who suspected him of a burglary, was shot 10 times. A grand jury decided not to bring criminal charges against the police officers involved in the case.

Harteau, who announced the change as she rolled out a department action plan for 2014 that was developed in consultation with a citizen advisory council, said it should help instill more public trust in the department.

"There was concern by members of this council and members of this community as to why Minneapolis continues to investigate their own in critical incidents," she said. "So it definitely played a factor in my decision making."

The department's action plan also calls for including citizens in the process of hiring officers.