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:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Post-RNC After-Action Report

As you can read here, the Mayor and Council President Johnson have asked for an "After Action Review" and report to Council by the Minneapolis Police Department. This is in addition to the Heffelfinger/Luger investigation, which will focus on police actions in St. Paul.

Though I continue to think that one comprehensive, multi-jurisdictional investigation into the actions of all law enforcement agencies involved in RNC events (including federal, state, county and local agencies) would be most useful, I will support any meaningful Minneapolis-specific investigation and/or report.

To make the Mayor's requested report as meaningful as possible, I attempted to pass the following staff direction at today's Public Safety and Regulatory Services committee:

Staff Direction
By Gordon

MPD staff will conduct an After Action Review and produce a report on the RNC, to be completed by the end of October 2008 and provided to the Mayor and Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee.

This report will focus on the major incidents that occurred during the Convention, including:
- the Critical Mass Ride
- the Media Party
- the Liberty Parade
- the Rage against the Machine concert
- MPD’s participation in preemptive raids on 8/29/08
- MPD’s participation in law enforcement responses to protests in St. Paul

It will also evaluate how downtown security worked overall, and how well operations
and training protocols, including the 7/25/08 resolution adopting police policies regarding public assemblies, were implemented. It will identify what worked and what did not, and recommend if necessary any policy changes.

In addition, the MPD will:

Evaluate MPD training for the convention and identify best practices and any areas for improvement.

Disclose the number, nature, and status of internal affairs investigations as a result of complaints about incidents that occurred the week of the convention, the week before and the week after.

Provide information on downtown security, where the Secret Service was most involved.

Provide information on Federal law enforcement and the Joint Terrorism Task Force’s actions leading up to and during the Convention.

Work with the Saint Paul Independent investigation led by Andy Luger and Tom Heffelfinger as requested by the investigating team.

The MPD’s actions on these five items will also be included in the After Action Review report.
The italicized portions of the above are not covered in the request from the Mayor and Council President.

I find it difficult to believe that my colleagues CM Ostrow, Samuels, Johnson and Hofstede decided they did not want this information explicitily requested to be part of an After Action Review. I was espcially surprised that other Council Members on the committee --- besides myself and CM Schiff---- didn't want to learn more about our role in the "preemptive raids," that were led by Ramsey County but occured in our City and I find it odd and frustrating that more of my colleagues did not want to hear about how well our staff followed the resolution we just unanimously passed on July 25th.

I am also extremely disappointed and surprised that my colleagues did not only decide for themselves that they did not want answers to the questions above, but that by voting down CM Schiff's motion to send my staff direction forward without recommendation, they decided that they did not want the majority of CMs who do not sit on the committee to have a chance to weigh in.

Whether my colleagues want information on the above topics or not, I'm convinced that the people of Minneapolis do, and I will therefore continue to ask these questions. If the information I attempted to ask for is not in the MPD's After Action Report, I will be sure to ask about it in the public meeting when the report is being given to the Council. I'll be interested to see if Chief Dolan and MPD staff include this information in the report. I am hoppeful that city staff will include some of this information because they judge it to be of value, but if they don't, responsiblity for its ommission will clearly reside with this committee.

I consider it to me a my duty as a Council Member, as a policy-maker and as a someone elected to represent the people of Ward 2, to seek out knowledge, to gather information and to ask questions that I feel will be of value to me and to my community. Indeed I consider fact finding, data gathering and sound research to be a first and vital step towards any kind of policy-making or decision-making proccess.

My ability to do my job was just made a little harder today.


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