Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Friday, September 19, 2008

How can I file a complaint against a Minneapolis police officer?

In light of the recent concerns that have been raised about police actions during the RNC, I thought it might be useful for people to know options that have to I file a complaint against a Minneapolis police officer? As a council member I can use the number, nature and status of complaints to help me guide discussion and policy decisions. To date there have been no formal external complaints made related to RNC activity.

To file a complaint you have 3 options within the City. If you have a lawyer please consult with them before proceeding with any of these.

The Police Internal Affairs Unit, the Mpls. Civilian Police Review Authority and the Mpls. Dept. of Civil Rights provide citizens with avenues to bring complaints of misconduct and inappropriate behavior against Police.

A complaint can be initiated by contacting the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA) office and speaking to an investigator. An official complaint does not exist until an investigator drafts a written complaint, the individual signs the complaint, and it is received in the CRA office. The CRA office is located in the Grain Exchange Building, 301 4th Avenue South, Room 670, Minneapolis, MN 55415. You can telephone the CRA at 612-673-5500.

The Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance specifies that it is illegal to discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, and status with regard to public assistance. A complaint must be filed in person. You may come directly to the Minneapolis Civil Rights Office (City Hall, 350 S 5th Street, Room 239) or call (612) 673-3012 for an appointment. If possible, complete an intake questionnaire prior to meeting with an intake officer. An intake officer will meet with you in person after reviewing your intake questionnaire. The intake officer then drafts an official charge of discrimination. After the charge of discrimination is signed and notarized, the charge is filed and all parties are notified within 10 business days.

The Mpls. Police Departments Internal Affairs Unit is responsible for investigating complaints of employee misconduct and violations of department rules and regulations. External complainants have the option of going to the MPD Internal Affairs Unit or any MPD supervisor with their complaint. It is the stated duty of all MPD employees to report any perceived violation of MPD regulations, rules, procedures, orders, civil service rules, city policies, city ordinances or state or federal laws committed by another MPD employee. Complaints can be directed to Internal Affairs Unit City Hall, Room 126350 South 5th Street Minneapolis, MN 55415, 612) 673-3074, Fax: (612) 373-3843


At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. What I really need to know is where I can file a complaint against a city alderman who wastes his time with issues like this one.

NO FORMAL COMPLAINTS have come forward against Minneapolis officers who worked the RNC. Are we to assume that people would complain if only they knew how ?

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one complain about a City Council member? Are there this many ways to complain as there are for police officers?

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Gordon,

You are a disgusting individual. When your ward and city are turning into a combat zone, you criticize the very people who are trying to save it. Good luck.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great idea! Let's find more ways to make the city of Minneapolis give away more of it's treasure. Never a problem a politician didn't embrace (especially the ones they create to stay in office)

At 8:53 AM, Blogger Cam Gordon said...

I am not sure about other alderpeople/Councilmembers, but I welcome people to bring complaints they have about me directly to me. This blog works well but people can also call me at 612 273-2202 or email me directly at or
I am also happy to schedule a meeting to discuss things in more depth. Another option of course is to bring complaints to my consituetns. That is much more challenging but in the past the neighborhood press has been used effective as a way for people to make their complaints know. You could send a complaint to to have it considred for publication. We also have a more formal process in place if there are ethical concerns. These kinds of camplainst can be brought our city attorney's office via our ethics officer:
Susan Trammell, Assistant City Attorney, 333 S. 7th St., Suite 300, Mpls, MN 55402; (612) 673-3230;
They will then be brought to our Ethical Pracitces Board for consideration. I nice feature of this process is that, the complaintant can remain anonymous.

I also wanted to not that Ward 2 and the City of Minneapolis were never turned into a combat zone during the RNC so I need more information to understand where that comments is coming from.

Also, about people not complaining about police misconduct. The main reasons I have heard that people do not complain about police misconduct, is that they feel there will be no fair process that will lead to meaningful consequences and and second that they fear some kind retaliation.

Finally I will note that there are many many many many wonderfull effective and good police officers in Minneapolis and I acknowledge and commend them for doing a great job.

Just because I want to improve and welcome complaints and feedback should never be interpreted to mean that I am assuming I am doing a poor job. The same holds true when I ask questions, or for feedback about, our dedicated and competent police department.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Cam Gordon said...

My phone number is actually 612 673-2202.


At 3:06 PM, Blogger nancy tannehill said...

Competent? Shame on you!


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