November 2-PAC: Implicit Bias

Our November speaker is Glenn Burt, one of the people who are conducting the MPD implicit bias program for the Mpls Police Dept.
I hope you’ll take the time to read this article in the SW Journal, before we meet:  http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/2016/03/police-and-community-take-a-hard-look-at-implicit-bias/
We’ll gather on  November 13 at 6PM, 1900 Central Ave NE, in the Monroe Village Community Room. Call to order about 6:10.

Emilie Quast, Board Memeber

MPD 2nd  Precinct PAC

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October 2-PAC report: Restorative Justice

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 by Emilie Quast.  15 people attending.

The October speakers were Tina Sigel and Alexander Quanbeck from Restorative Justice.  This is the 20th Anniversary year for Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA); the organization has been working with the MPD Second Precinct since 2003.

Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victim, the offender, and the community, instead of laws.  In our current criminal justice system, a crime is considered an act against the state and laws are broken.  In contrast, Restorative Justice regards a crime a an act against another person or community in which relationships are broken.  It holds an offender accountable, and requires them to take responsibility for the harm they have done and to find ways to make amends to victims and the community.

The program:  RJCA uses a restorative justice process called “community conferencing.”  A person who has done harm sits in a circle with community members in the area where the offense occurred.  The participant shares his story of what happened and who he feels his actions have impacted.  Next the community members relate how they are impacted by the offense, both personally and as a voice of the community.  Then, together, they create an agreement for the participant to make amends. The agreement could include an apology, community service, or other possible elements that would help repair the harm.  The goal is to agree upon an action that will make things right with community, with persons affected by one person’s wrong behavior, and how the participant can make things right with himself.

RJCA works with adults and youth in Minneapolis,  and elsewhere in Hennepin County and in Ramsey County.  RJCA works with Drug Court, low level felony and misdemeanor/gross misdemeanor offenses.  System partners include Hennepin and Ramsey County Attorney’s Offices, Minneapolis and St. Paul City Attorney’s Offices, Minneapolis Police Dept. and Juvenile Division, among others.

QUESTION: Is this for first time offenders or for anyone. ANSWER:  First time offenders typically, if it’s a low level  offense..  As long as they haven’t done anything in the last two years, they are eligible for our program.  In addition to this work,

If there is a criminal charge, they may be eligible for this option if they choose to do it. This is not an “easy-out”.  It doesn’t let people off the hook just because they are not going through the court system.  They will meet people and talk about something that they may be  really embarrassed or ashamed about.  It takes a lot of courage to face that;  in contrast, if you go to court, you just pay a fee/fine, and it’s done.  With RJCA, the participants face what they have done and get feedback on how it has  impacted others.

QUESTION:  Does this get the charge expunged from a participant’s record?  RJCA program will get it dismissed but not expunged. They have to go through a different process for expungement.

Drug court process:  We come in toward the end of the drug court process.  They’re sharing their perspective with community, not just people they know.   It’s an open dialog.   You learn about other people’s experiences.  People are more than what they have done; they have stories and this process helps fill in that information.  It helps community members also, learning the back story is as much for the participants as it is for the community members.

The Interact Program:  A program with the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office called Interact: someone who is charged with obstructing police activities.  The participant sits down with a lieutenant from the Police Dept. to talk about what happened and to hear each other’s perspective.
QUESTION: Do they come back? Do they commit another crime? We don’t track recidivism rates, but there re studies that do suggest the Restorative Justice can reduce recidivism.   Last year, the 2nd Pct had 117 cases, 107 from U of MN.  Success rates: in the 2nd Pct: 96.2%. Typical offenses are minor consumption, public urination, social host.  A benefit of doing a community conference is you learn you do have an impact on the people living near you who aren’t students.  The volunteers who come to the conferences tend to be people who want to connect with the students in their community.  The circle meeting tends to extend the students’  connection to their community and that makes a huge difference to students’ behavior as they go forward. It’s estimated the value of student Community Service in a year is about $16,800, valued at about $26 /hour.  Restorative Justice tends to find work for participants that taps into the people’s/students’ skills and values.

Sentence To Serve program is not part of RJCA, but it’s an alternative to RJCA.  Obviously picking up trash on the highway is a valuable service, but it doesn’t connect you with your community.

There are RJ partners in the community that work specifically in schools.

QUESTION: How many youth participants are there? RJCA closed approximately 145 youth cases last year.

All our interns: social work interns are all working on youth cases.
RJCA is always looking for more facilitators and for community members to participate in the conferences. Volunteers live throughout the city and out in the suburbs, including Minnetonka, the Brooklyns, South and North Minneapolis.    If interested please contact us at info@rjca-inc.org, or call 612.746.0789

Additional note:In addition to the work outlined above, RJCA holds monthly community conversations on Implicit Bias at various locations in the area.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come.  For more information, please contact RJCA at 612.746.0780. They have offered to hold one of these conversations in the Second Precinct.  [Let Emilie know if you are interested in attending]

STATE OF THE PRECINCT: No report.

COURTWATCH: Judi Cole, Hennepin County Atty’s Office:

Richard Breen: Pre-trial hearing scheduled for 10-19 for his theft in Marcy-Holmes. He also has a loitering with open bottle charge.

Cody Corbin: Is in custody for violation of a no-contact order and has a 10-23 hearing. He had a stay of imposition but the violation may have impacted that.

Jason Enrico: Convicted in July & sentenced to 13 months, stayed 3 years, probation until 7-14-20, must complete treatment, remain law-abiding, contact probation and notify of any change.

Hussein Farah: Omnibus hearing on 10-11 for Criminal sex conduct (2 in July, strangers in the same bldg, diff. days) and drug possession (5-15)

Kevin Foster:   Convicted on 6-15 for 1st degree property damage, but given a stay of imposition over the State’s objection based on prior convictions (13) and prior arrests (31).  Is on supervised probation until 6-5-20.

Johnny Hall: Complaint warrant issued on 2-10-17, bench warrant on 2-13-17 still at large.

Steven Haney: 11-6-17 Jury trial on 1st degree drug sale and has sentencing the same day for a diff. 1st degree drug sale.

Daniel Heacock.  10-18-17 Met bail and was released.  Found incompetent but not so bad that he can be committed, since then has gotten 3 more misdemeanors.  6 month review of previous offenses.  If he’s found incompetent on a misdem. it is dismissed.  (Not true of gross misd. or felonies)  Not a danger or himself or others and is just out and waiting for the next hearing.

Paula Heille: Failed to appear for 10-09 omnibus hearing (re: 5th degree drug possession)  and now has a bench warrant.

Bryan Holmes: 10-11 Pretrial for two misdemeanors.

Mahad Ismail: Convicted on 7-19; failure to appear at ACF and a warrant was issued on 8-31.

Curtis Laroque: Convicted on 11-4, 305 days stayed for 2 years, probation to 11-4-18

Kenneth Nelson:  10-9 hearing on 3 felonies, not updated before PAC.

Joshua Poplawski: Sentenced on 6-1-17 on 5th degree drug possession, probation violation hearing on 9-15, released to “sober housing” treatment center.

Ashley Sage: 10-11 review hearing, she’s been doing well in the program.’

Robert Schroeder: Bench warrant issued 7-12-17

Michael Zaccardi: 10-10 arraignment for damage to property. He has a new probation officer but hasn’t met yet. He also has mental health issues but is not eligible for commitment. After a question from an attender, the probation officer outlined some of the options that are possibly open to Mr. Zaccardi (there are options for him!).  He is homeless at this point, and that is not an impossible obstacle for him.

 

Dae Nisell: has moved out of the Second Precinct.  Voted to remove him from our watch list.

 

NEW BUSINESS:  Next month will be a speaker on the new MPD program on Implicit Bias.

Next month we will also begin planning our December 24 Thank you meal for first responders.  There will be a separate call for volunteers and meeting announcements.

 

Meeting adjourned.

October 2-PAC Update: Restorative Justice

Our speakers will be Alexander “Z” Quanbeck, the Adult Case Coordinator, and Tina Sigel, Community Coordinator. The Minneapolis Restorative Justice program is currently in its 20th Anniversary Year. It’s been working with the Second Precinct since 2003.

Join us to hear how RJ help might fit into your organization when you need extra hands and (maybe) a couple of strong backs. I needed both for a gardening project at Talmage Crossing and met the nicest fellow you’d ever share a shovel with.

We’ll meet at Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE. Gather at 6 PM and call to order about 6:10. Since City Employees have the day off, I hope more people will show up on Monday. We’ll have plenty of empty chairs.

October PAC: Restorative Justice Program in MPLS

Join us on October 9 when we’ll get an update on the Minneapolis Restorative Justice program.  We had a speaker on this long ago, when they were just getting started.  The program has grown and developed over the years.  Our speaker will be from  Restorative Justice Community Action which you can read about here:  www.rjca-inc.org

There is more background info from the U of MN, including videos: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/rjp/

It’s very heady stuff.

We meet October 9, 6PM in the Monroe Village Community Room, 1900 Central Ave NE.

Looking ahead:  1) Our November speaker will be from the MPD Implicit Bias training program.  2) It’s time to ask people to step forward to join the 2-PAC planning committee.  New people bring fresh ideas and that means better programs.  We NEED YOU!  3)  December is coming and with it is our 12/24 feast for First Responders who are on duty that family day, keeping you safe.  This year will be 2-PAC’s 34th year of saying “Thank-You”

Sept 2-PAC: Sexual Assault: the police response

Join us on Monday, Sept. 11, for our next 2-PAC. We will gather at 6PM in the Community room of Monroe Village Apartments, 1900 Central Avenue NE.

Since June, we’ve been hearing about some of the support agencies and services available to victims of sexual assault.

In June and August, our presenters were from The Aurora Center and from The Sexual Violence Center, the two organizations that focus on supporting victims of sexual violence. Our July speakers were the director of the Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, and an investigator in the Complaint Investigations Division. Wrapping up this series is our speaker for September, Lt. Nicholas Torborg of the MPD Special Crimes Investigation Division, who will outline the police side of response to an assault. What do the city or county attorneys’ offices require the officers to look for? Clearly, this is a critical support service for victims of assault, but it is also an office with clearly defined goals and procedures for achieving those goals.

Looking ahead: Our October presentation will be by the Restorative Justice program. This program has changed since we heard about them several years ago; it’s time to get an update. Our November speaker will tell us about a new training program for MPD officers: Implicit Bias.

It’s time for new members to join the 2-PAC Board. Do you have ideas for a topic or speaker? Do you want to upgrade our home page? December is coming up and with it our annual 10-hour buffet for First Responders–we always need new help there! If you like people, we could really use someone to attend neighborhood organization meetings and let Second Precinct residents know more about us.

August 2-PAC – the Sexual Violence Center

The meeting was called to order at 6:12 by Chair Larry Ranallo, 12 people attending.

Our speaker, Kristen Houlton Sukura is the Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Center, in Minneapolis.  SVC supports people living in Hennepin, Carver and Scott Counties, who have been affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives, from their personal past to the present.  They do not turn away people outside these counties, but will  find an advocacy center closer to where people live, because those offices are likely to know more about local support services for victims of assault.  Please know that  SVC is eager to get its name out and its story told.  Everyone knows that if your house is on fire, you call 911 for help.  Not enough people know there is a number they can call if they or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault.  (SVC 24-hour support line: 612.871.5111 or 952.448.5425)

To begin, there is a good overview of services the SVC provides on its website:  https://www.sexualviolencecenter.org/about-us/   The following page defines common terms used in this discussion: https://www.rainn.org/types-sexual-violence

To set a few parameters, it is true that most adult victims identify as female and most assaults are perpetuated by people who identify as male but that is not always the case at all. The SVC is against all forms of assault; it doesn’t matter who the aggressor is.  It is also true that 8 out of 10 sexual assaults are not reported to law enforcement.  The following graphic shows the imbalance: http://67.231.241.82/~nyscasa1/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/stats-triangle1.png
People have many reasons for not reporting.  Since most of the victims know their perpetrators, it’s evident they are in some kind of a relationship with them, including marriage, family or another close relationship.  The perpetrator is a person they trust, and may love.  They do not want that person to go to jail, but they do want the assaults to stop.   In other cases, the perpetrator has some sort of hold over them and it may actually be unsafe for a victim to report the assaults to authorities.   Another fact emphasized by the SVC is that more people are harmed by an assault than the victim. An assault has a lasting impart on the friends and family who love the victim, something that is not acknowledged enough by the community.  These impacts all need to be addressed, but victims, their family and their friends rarely know how to talk about it, or don’t have anyone they can talk with about the situation.  As a consequence, they are likely to bury their feelings.  This does not make the impact go away.

SVC services are based on one belief:  if a crime  comes into your life, you have a right to be believed, to have someone stand with you. People who can’t find the support they need to deal with the trauma often struggle to heal, feeling  “People don’t believe me”.    SVC  advocates work hard to overcome this barrier to healing.  They want to work with more law enforcement and other agencies  so that more people feel comfortable accessing the support and social services they need.  Advocates also want other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, to learn to refer victims to SVC advocates.

Every victim of sexual assault in MN has a right to go to a hospital and receive free medical care.   SVC works with 11 hospitals, including 7 in Hennepin County, to make sure people get the care they need.  SVC only does not work with University Hospitals because the U has the Aurora Center, another advocacy center, on campus.

What happens at the hospital?    A specially trained nurse will be paged at the same time the SVC advocate is paged. The victim will be examined for evidence that could be used in a trial.  The victim has the right to receive some medical care for free.  They will be offered treatment to ward off STIs, assessed for HIV exposure, and offered Plan B contraceptives   We urge people to go to the hospital as soon as possible.  It is possible to collect evidence even 5 days after the assault, but 72 hours is how much time you have for an assessment of risk of HIV exposure.  After that time, the victims may not be able to get the evidence collected.  Victims should know that even if they do not have health insurance, SVC advocates and hospital staff are very experienced at figuring out how to get the patient the service they need.  SVC advocates  do not tell people what to do, but do always suggest going to the hospital after assault.  Victims are not always sure they are ready to talk to someone but the SVC advocates will stay with them as long as they are wanted.

Data from Hennepin County indicates that 50% of people who go to the hospital after sexual assault  file a police report at that time.  Others may decide to do it later.  Nationwide,  of 100 rapes  25% get reported to the police.  This is a crime that is still in the shadows because of under-reporting due to cultural and social norms.  Reporting is something  SVC wants more victims/survivors to choose.  Even though some people may never want to report,  SVC wants the process to be as safe and supportive as possible.  SVC advocates work hard with their partners in law enforcement to help them work with and to support victims of criminal sexual conduct.

Evidence samples taken at the hospital exam are labeled “Do not Test” until the victim files a police report.  Different locations allow different amounts of time, but typically evidence will be held by the hospital while a victim decides whether to report for a minimum of 30 days.  At that point the victim will get a call asking if they want the tests held longer.  Anniversary dates seem to trigger decision making. There is a statute of limitations which depends on the level of the offense, so that is also a varying window.  Tests are done by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, not by the local police lab. Once a police report is made, the evidence goes  to the BCA for testing. The BCA produces a report that goes back to the police department that is handling the victim’s case, and investigators in that department will determine if the case should be referred to the County Attorney for charging.  In many cases, there just may not be enough evidence to present to a jury. Often  a message comes back   “We believe that this thing happened to you.  We believe you.  But with the evidence we can find, we’re not confident of convincing a jury. ”

Another impacting fact is there often is no evidence of physical forcing because there has been no physical force.  85% of the victims know their aggressor and the aggressors take advantage of that.  The incident may have involved drugs;  60% of the victims in Hennepin County who accessed a forensic exam after the assault were inebriated at the time of the assault.  A lawyer hopes for credible witness  testimony, but with a high degree of inebriation,  memory may not be perfect.
City Attorney Sarah Becker commented that 50% of the cases are charged for “less than” the initial complaint suggests the charge should be.  She pointed out that delayed reporting is a factor because bruising or tearing  have healed.

SVC advocates see their function as offering peer counseling, not therapy.  SVC advocates work to support many victims who struggle to believe it was not their fault they were targeted.

Advocates are largely protected from subpoena and unlikely to to called to testify in court. This is particularly important  when someone is afraid to report assault because they are undocumented, because they were working as a sex worker  at the time of the assault, because  they are under age, because  they were drunk, the SVC advocate is a safe person to talk to.   They won’t have to share their story.    By statute SVC staff are called “counselors”,  but use the term “Advocate” because they do more than counseling.

SVC staff work in several ways including over the phone.  They can work in person providing 10 sessions free of charge.  They provide services not available from therapists and counselors such as help obtaining restraining orders, finding funding for needed medical services, support with navigating the system.  Advocates work creatively to meet the needs of victims who come to them, trying different approaches.  They’ve discovered that having police interview a victim at the SVC office is more comfortable for some victims than going to a police unit would be.   Advocates will do anything they can that helps people feel supported.  One service that has worked well is for an advocate to offer phone counseling anonymously, asking victims to please not tell their name, the assailant’s name, and so on.  Just getting people to talk is the best way to build the kind of trust that is necessary to help people move on to the next step, whatever that may be.  If a caller says, “I’m not going to report this.” the counselor can say to them, “I believe you.  I’m not going to force you …. Let’s talk this through.  I want to talk to you and tell you what your options are and how to be safe.”  Ms Sukura is comfortable saying “Our model works.  People are terrified because they don’t know what to do, and that’s because no one ever talks about it.”

SVC offers its services in several unusual places, including prisons and half-way houses, in schools  with students  age 12-17 — an age when transportation and after school responsibilities make it tough for high school  students to get to the center.  Moreover, young people people are very nervous about the effect this is going to have on their parents.  Beyond being hurt themselves, they don’t want to hurt their parents.  This is another high value service SVC provides :  working  with friends and family members.  An assault is not just on one person but on everyone who cares about that person. They have had calls where someone may say, “This isn’t about me.  It’s my niece.  She told me and I don’t know what do do about this.”

 At the other end of life, some people do not talk  until years later.  SVC gets calls from nursing homes.  Sometimes it is about something that happened there, but sometimes it’s about something that happened 50 or 60 years earlier.  One woman commented that she could  see how this affected her through her whole life, but there was no one to talk to.

SVC organizes support groups because in groups you see that others are as affected as you are.  One pair that stands out in her memory was unlikely: a 16 year old and a 60 year old man.  What they had in common was the violence of the  assault, each one did understand that issue  better than anyone else in the room.

That brings up a very important concept: if someone discloses to you, they trust you.  It’s a  sacred trust.
QUESTION:  Reports suggest that 15% of the victims are male.  Is that average?  ANSWER:.   SVC may be reporting a higher percentage of male victims because they work in the prisons.  Male victims  tend to not want to call us. It’s very hard to get men to talk in front of other men.  If you look on the SVC  website, https://www.sexualviolencecenter.org/  you’ll see that we have male- identified advocates, trans-gender advocates, language and culturally specific support services and advocates.  Our job is to get victims to the support they need, even if it isn’t directly from SVC.  SVC also works  with Isuroon, a Somali women’s empowerment organization to better support refugees; they have learned that 25% of refugees report having suffered sexual violence.   Refugees are  survivors of many things; we want them  to know we offer support here.
Ms. Sukura left copies of a Sexual  Violence Center  poster.  If you would like a copy, please contact Emilie (e-quas@umn.edu)

STATE OF THE PRECINCT: Sgt. Jeff Carter presented the current incident summary of crime in the Second Precinct, all numbers are year to date:  Sexual Assault is down by over 17%, reporting 37 in 2017 in comparison with 45 last year.  Robbery is down over 26% with 65 incidents in 2017 vs 88 last year; aggravated assault is up slightly with 85 incidents this year but 84 last year; aggravated domestic assaults are up 5.7% with 37 this year and 35 last year.

Second Precinct officers made several outstanding arrests including  a 2nd degree assault on pizza delivery person who parked in someone else’s spot.   The AP, who pulled a knife on the delivery person, was located and arrested.  A 1st degree domestic assault resulted in arrest of the ex-boyfriend who hit his former girlfriend in the head with a bat and cut her with a knife.  A Burglary of Dwelling victim came home and found 2 suspects in his apartment.  They left when he confronted them but he called 911 when he spotted them returning to the apartment complex.  Three  were arrested.  Officers stopped a speeding vehicle at Central and University on 8-11.  The driver appeared impaired and was asked to step out of the vehicle, and when she did, suspected narcotics fell from her lap; two suspects were arrested.

Sgt. Carter also gave a report on the Second Precinct Community Response Team performance to date:  34 guns seized, almost $160K drug money seized; 10 vehicles seized;  41 felony complaints were charged; 79 felony/gross misdemeanor charged; 30 community complaint address related search warrants acted on; the total number of search warrants or court orders signed or served is 119
Counterfeit money is being passed again in NE Minneapolis.

Sgt. Carter is always interested in reports on suspicious activity, especially drug activity, and knows people do know when something seems wrong.  Typically this is when you see many people entering an address or meeting with a car in the street and leaving quickly over the course of a day.  He asks Second Precinct residents that, if they see this kind of activity, do NOT call 911.  Instead, call the Precinct and leave a message for Sgt Carter 612.673.5702.

COURTWATCH.  Sarah Becker reported our watch list:  Cody Corbin received a stay of imposition; Jason Enrico was convicted of forgery and sentenced to 13 months, stayed 3 years, so on probation until 7/20/20; Steven Haney trial was postponed until after our meeting; Daniel Heacock  has arraignment scheduled for 8/23/17; Paula Heille has a jury trial on 10/9/17; Mahad Ismail  was convicted and sentenced to 365 days in workhouse, 335 stayed for 2 years and is on probation until 7/29/19; Curtis Laroque was convicted in November of 2016 but that sentence was amended on 6/14/17 to 365 days at the workhouse, 305 days stayed for 2 years, on probation to 11/4/18; Kenneth Nelson has 3 open felony cases with a jury trail 10/9 17 (Impact statements requested).  A probation violation warrant was issued for Joshua Poplawski on 7/31 and a hearing scheduled for 8/17 (Impact statements requested); a bench warrant for failure to appear was issued for Robert Schroeder on 7/12; Michael Zaccardi has a hearing on 8/22, and is potentially going to Mental Health Court.

No updates on Kevin Foster,  Johnny Hall, Dae Nisell, Ashley Sage (doing well on her drug court plan!)

IMPACT STATEMENTS REQUESTED:  Kenneth Nelson has had 32 city-wide arrests since 1995 with 12 convictions  and has a trial coming up 10-9.  He currently has 3 open felony cases.  Joshua Michael Poplawskihas 2 trespass offenses and a probation violation hearing on a burglary offense, all in the 3rd Precinct but he is now spending a lot of time around Stadium Village as well as on Franklin.   Reminder: our home page has a guideline: How to write an impact statement.  Go to https://courtwatch2pac.com/  and click on the button at the top that says “Impact Statements”  — the guidelines will appear on the message area of the page.

Ms Becker nominated three for addition to our watch list:  1) Hussein Farah sexually assaulted two women the same day in one apartment building AND had PCP while operating a motor vehicle (traffic stop at 5th and University Ave SE).  He has been arrested 6 times in 3 years in the 2nd Pct for traffic, burglary, assault.   2) Richard Breen, offense was consuming in public and has had10 city-wide arrests since 2014, 4 in the 2nd Pct, for public consumption, trespass, criminal conduct.  3) Bryan Holmes has 17 arrests in the 2nd Pct since 2013, for trespass, public consumption.    Motion was made and approved to add these three to our list.

General announcement:  Susan Webb has moved to another MPD position which takes her out of the Second Precinct.  For the time being Nick Juarez is working solo.
Meeting was adjourned (about) 7:20

July PAC report

The meeting was called to order at 6:07 by Chair Larry Ranallo with 20 attenders.

 

Our speakers this month were Velma Korbel, Director of the Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, and Kristin Johnson, Investigator in the Complaint Investigations Division of the Dept.  As the City is expanding services to residents, it is also expanding the means residents have to request these services.  Our well known and heavily used 311 contact is now a means of reporting hate crimes and discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other, and these crimes may be reported by targets or by witnesses.

 

Ms. Korbel related that the “Hate Crimes Hotline” is an extension of the 311 line service, which was launched with limited services and hours in 2003, but has been expanding ever since. People in Minneapolis dial 311 for direct access while people who are outside the city proper or who can’t  use that line for any reason (TTY callers, for example)  can call 612.673.3000.

 

While there has always been some level of hate crime in Minneapolis, authorities have noticed an increase starting in Sept and October of 2016 when the political race fueled a lot of talk about building a wall, deporting people, and other divisive issues.   There was a further rise when U.S. borders were closed to some people.  As controversy became more heated, some cities took a stand declaring themselves “inclusive” and separating law enforcement activity from immigration and customs enforcement activity through use of non-cooperation clauses. Cities enforcing non-cooperation between their police forces and immigration officials include Seattle, NYC, Albuquerque, and more.  Minneapolis is part of this movement.

The Civil Rights Department of Minneapolis, the St. Paul Department of Human Rights, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and the FBI joined forces to coordinate the programs and outreach services offered by each agency.  There was a need for one number to call where reports would be screened to determine what department or service would best meet the immediate concern; 311 was an obvious resource.  311 is also a way for service providers to gather information about hate and bias crimes. Resources were added to the Department’s budget to coordinate the City’s response and handle information regarding hate crimes and discrimination, and to work with community and enforcement partners. Kristin leads this work in the Department.

People needed to know this expanded service exists so one of the first things they developed was a simple poster,  Go to http://www.minneapolismn.gov/civilrights/index.htm and scroll past “HATE CRIMES HOTLINE” to see a printable PDF. Updates to the page making the information more accessible are pending.

 

QUESTION:  Does hate speech = a hate crime?

 

Korbel:  No, speech is protected by the First Amendment. There is hateful speech, but no agreed-upon definition.  There is confusion because last year’s political speech often mentioned “hate speech” which put that in people’s minds but the fact is, there is no definition of hate speech.  We welcome discourse of any kind, but while we may not like it, we can’t stop it.

 

QUESTION: 311 operators, including the supervisor seem confused about hate crimes.

 

Korbel: If you called the 311 operators, not to report a crime but to ask about hate speech, you need to remember 311 operators are NOT there to explain things, define terms, or to speak directly about a caller’s concerns.  Their job is limited to forwarding calls to the appropriate service center where staff trained in the caller’s issues are waiting to listen to and to evaluate a callers concerns and to begin working with and for the caller.  311’s job begins with receiving your call and ends when the operator has forwarded your call.

QUESTION: There is a question of context.  Speech at work can create an atmosphere that interrupts your ability to work.

Korbel:  Most work places have policies in place that outline what is and isn’t permitted in the work place and how violations will be handled.  Managers should be trained to handle these issues. Issues and events in one place may be handled very differently from a similar situation at a different organization.

Board member Dorothy Bode reminded people that the Minneapolis Public Schools is a separate jurisdiction and has its own hotline.

QUESTION [ASKED AFTER THE MEETING:  SO IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING A SATISFACTORY RESPONSE FROM e.g. YOUR OFFICE HR OR THE SCHOOL’S HOTLINE RESPONSE, ARE YOU BARRED FROM USING THE CITY SERVICE OR ENCOURAGED TO USE IT?]

Johnson:  You may always contact the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), St. Paul Department of Human Rights, or Minnesota Department of Human Rights to report unlawful discrimination, including a hostile working environment. A hostile work environment may be created through the harassment of an individual based on a protected characteristic (as defined in the Mpls Civil Rights Ordinance, Section 139.40(b)) that negatively affects that employee’s performance or job opportunities and is known by and not prevented or corrected by the employer. This is an example of an instance where one individual’s expressions of prejudice toward another individual may be unlawful, when the same exchanges on a public street may constitute protected speech.

 

Johnson: Minneapolis ordinance bans discrimination based on “race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, including sexual harassment, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance or familial status.”  Property damage, assault, and stalking are crimes per state law, no matter what the motive, but if bias (discrimination)  is determined to have been a motive of a crime, that judgment will give the complaint an enhanced status.  For example, if a person commits an assault, that is a crime.  If, during the assault they call someone a name (based on race, gender, etc.) the sentence for that crime may be increased on that basis.

 

Data collection so far suggests that many episodes are based on race issues.  Data also suggest that many incidents are under-reported.  Data collection does show context which may figure in later outreach programs.  With regard to most speech questions received to date, one example is that you may still paint a Swastika on your own property, but you may still not paint one on someone else’s property without their permission or on public property.

Johnson: some complaints may be sent to the MN Dept of Human Rights or other agencies, depending on the type of crime and the location.  The Mpls Civil Rights personnel will always look at it first.

 

The Dept of Civil Rights is developing relationships with other resources to better respond to complaints. It’s a work in progress. Please call Kristin at 612 673 2087 with any questions about the hotline or the implicated laws.

 

WHAT OFFICES CAN HELP AN INDIVIDUAL FILE A COMPLAINT?

In Minneapolis:  Minneapolis Dept. of Civil Rights, (612) 673-3012.

In St. Paul, St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity, (651) 266-8966.

Elsewhere in the state, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, (651) 296-5663.

THANK YOU!

STATE OF THE PRECINCT:   Inspector  Loining reported that violent crime in the 2nd Precinct is down by 7.6% led by Robbery, down 32.47%  from 77 incidents in 2016 to 52 in YTD in 2017.  Criminal Sexual Conduct is up from 29 to 31 incidents in the same period and Aggravated Assault if up from 64 to 75 incidents in the same period.

Burglary is down by 11.29% but  auto theft is up by over 39%.

Current “Hot Crime Issues” in the 2nd Precinct are 1) reducing violent crimes by monitoring reports to determine focus zones for increased patrol, 2) reducing theft from motor vehicles by reminding folks to remove valuables from their cars or at least keep them locked in the trunk, 3) auto theft, alerting owners to the danger of warming up vehicles in the winter and to reduce theft of mopeds by securing light two wheelers with locks and chains, and 4) to reduce burglary of garages by reminding folks to lock their garages.  Officers will leave a hang tag on obviously unsecured garages which offers help and outlines the reasons to lock up.

Successful policing reports including two July 6 search warrants in NE Mpls,which uncovered one marijuana growing operation (one party booked) and a recovery of a shotgun and almost $10,000.   The Property Crimes Unit has been assigned 189 cases for investigation so far in 2017.  Of these, 144 have led to a charge.

The Second Precinct has gained 5 new officers.  All will be on foot beats for the next six months (standard procedure): 2 on East Hennepin and 3 in the Stadium Village area which includes the light rail station.  Other personnel changes:  Sgt. Beth Mota has transferred to the Juvenile Unit.  Sgt. Chris Patino has joined  2nd Pct Property Crimes, and Sgt. Darin Waletzki is now in the 2nd Pct

COURTWATCH:  Sarah Becker, City Atty.  and Judi Cole Hennepin Cty Atty.:  Cody Corbin failed to appear on 7/5 and a bench warrant was issued; he is free on $5000 bond and his next court date is 8/2.  Jason Enrico had an omnibus hearing scheduled on 7/14.  Kevin Foster was convicted on June 5;  a stay of imposition was issued and he is on probation until 6.5.2020.  Steven Haney is facing 2 narcotics cases; he posted a $100,000 bond on March 1; his house will be in foreclosure at the end of July. Daniel Heacock is now out of custody and waiting for a competency hearing.  Paula Heille failed to appear on 5/10 and a bench warrant was issued.  Mahad Ismail is now in prison and has a pretrial on July 19.  Kenneth Nelson has a 9/19/17 hearing coming up, and one complaint against him has a jury trial date.  Sharkina Nickens was convicted of burglaries and is now in prison.  Her other complaints have not been resolved.  Dae  Nisell was convicted on 6/23 for violation of restraining order and was sentenced to the MN Correctional Facility in St. Cloud (18 months stayed 3 years); he is on probation to 6.23.20.  Ryan Pilarski has completed probation on June 13.  Joshua Poplawski has a pretrial on trespass in the 3rd Pct scheduled for 7/12; probation violation hearing  on 7.24.  Ashley Sage seems to be meeting her agreement.  Robert Schroeder has a July 12 pretrial.  Michael Zaccardi has a felony level damage complaint with a 7.21 omnibus hearing.

No updates:Johnny Hall has not yet responded to his February bench warrant.  Curtis Laroq remains on probation to 11/4/18 and there have been no updates.

Removed: Canty, Nickens, Moen, Pilarski

Reminders:  do you want attorneys to attend your National Night Out?  Contact Jean M Heyer (Jean.Heyer@hennepin.us), or go to heep://www.hennepinattorney.org/prevention/community-partnerships/national-night-out

It’s a chance to ask questions you may have been curious about and didn’t know who/how/where to find the answers — plus they’re nice people.

With no New or Old Business, the meeting was adjourned.

Emilie Quast, Board member

MPD Second Precinct PAC