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Minneapolis Police Response to 2020 Riots Was Poor, Report Says

An outside review of the Minneapolis Police Department's response to the riots after George Floyd's death in 2020 concluded that the police response lacked "clear, experienced" leadership, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The study, commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and conducted by Wilder Research, said, "The lack of clarity among participating agencies regarding chain of command and unified command structure hindered timely and effective response to the unrest." According to researchers, the state's move to deploy troopers and Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in coordination with National Guard and local law enforcement came too late. The state had expected the Minneapolis Police Department to take part in the response, but was forced to move in when when the city's third police precinct was abandoned and set on fire. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said, "We got conflicting orders from different elected officials."

The report detailed how various law enforcement agencies had different crowd control training. Minneapolis police attempted to disperse crowds while other agencies tried to contain them. Some state officials also felt that Minneapolis police use of chemical munitions were incorrect and excessive. Officials are implementing new policies for interacting with the press. During the riots, there were "several instances of public officials, both at the state and local level, disseminating false or unverified information about facts on the ground." This included statements from state Rep. Ryan Winkler, who suggested that a truck driver intentionally ran into a crowd of protesters on a Minneapolis freeway. Others then falsely claimed that those who caused the most destruction were protesters from out of state.


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