Nearly two years after the police killing of George Floyd led to fiery unrest in Minneapolis, a security firm issued a scathing indictment of the city’s response, saying the chaotic situation was made worse by a mayor who disregarded emergency protocols and a police department whose officers failed to follow “consistent rules of engagement.” The report for the city of Minneapolis by the Chicago-based security risk firm Hillard Heintze listed many communications and leadership failures by Mayor Jacob Frey and other officials that left residents feeling “abandoned” and fueled chaos on the ground amid days of escalating violence and destruction, reports the Washington Post.
The report’s authors, including former law enforcement officials, said police operated without clear guidance or supervision as they fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds, including peaceful protesters. It was an aggressive tactic that critics say escalated tensions, helping fuel violence and looting across the city. The report said some tactics appeared to violate policy, based on the firm’s review of extensive body-camera footage. It also said many officers weren’t properly trained and had not been given a clear mission or directives from the police chief or other senior leaders on how to deal with the volatile protests. “We found there was a vast, vast void in consistent rules of engagement or control … when you can and can’t use that weapon, when you should and shouldn’t,” Chad McGinty, an author of the report and former operations commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol, told the City Council. Frey acknowledged the failures laid out in the report and said he was working with city agencies to implement the more than two dozen recommendations, including the strengthening of the city’s emergency protocols and improved police training on crowd control.