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Portal boosts access to Minneapolis police conduct data

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File photo: Police officers make a traffic stop on North Washington Avenue in Minneapolis on September 20, 2010.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel File 2010

A new portal on the city of Minneapolis' website allows anyone to look up public data on police conduct cases.

The city launched the website Tuesday, with the goal of increasing police department transparency, access and accountability.

KSTP-TV reported there are about 850 sworn officers in Minneapolis. The city said it gets many requests for details about complaints that have been filed against officers.

"People want to know how many complaints have been filed against an officer and the outcome of those complaints," said Ryan Patrick, who is with the city of Minneapolis.

Searches on the portal can be done by officer name. Imani Jaafar, with the Office of Police Conduct Review, said the searches can also be isolated by a particular allegation, or race, age or gender. The complaints can be broken down further by precinct to see if there's a pattern.

Complaints against officers can be filed anonymously and include allegations of criminal misconduct, discrimination, failure to provide protection, harassment, inappropriate language, retaliation, theft, excessive force or policy violation.

The online records date back three years.

Jaafar says the Office of Police Conduct Review investigates the allegations that come in. The goal is to complete an investigation in 120 days, and information on the website will be updated every two weeks.

But officer privacy is a concern for some.

"If an accusation ended in discipline, it's appropriate to show an officer's name. But if the officer is cleared, it's wrong to put that officer's name out there," said Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the Minneapolis Police Federation.

City leaders said Tuesday that state law limits the information they can publicly release.