Complaints against police skyrocket in Minneapolis

Police toss teargas at demonstrators
Police toss tear gas at demonstrators on May 29 in Minneapolis as protests continue following the May 25 killing of George Floyd. Since Floyd's killing on Memorial Day, the city of Minneapolis has received hundreds of complaints about the city's police.
John Minchillo | AP Photo file

Residents filed a record number of complaints about Minneapolis police in recent months, including the time since the killing of George Floyd on May 25.

Almost 700 complaints have been entered into the city’s system since April, with the majority of complaints tied to officers in south Minneapolis’ 3rd Precinct. The level of complaints in the second quarter of the year was almost five times higher than usual, according to city records.

The increase in complaints came as protests and other civil unrest spread across the Twin Cities in the wake of Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer. The city also received almost 2,000 voicemails and 1,300 electronic complaints tied to police actions during the protests.

People run in the street.
Tear gas is sprayed into the crowd on May 26 after people vandalize the Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct.
Courtney Perry for MPR News file

Protesters and local officials criticized Minneapolis police for what they saw as heavy-handed tactics against protesters. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and other chemical agents at times.

The killing of Floyd and the police response to demonstrations fueled an effort by the Minneapolis City Council to “dismantle” the department. It’s a process that includes a proposal to revise the city charter to create a new department of public safety and remove the police department.

The city of Minneapolis doesn’t yet have information on the type of complaints or the demographics of people who lodged complaints against police. Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights Director Velma Korbel declined an interview through a spokesperson, saying staff needed time to analyze the complaints.

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