MPLS City Council Amends 'Police Policies' Resolution

The Minneapolis City Council today amended four parts of controversial resolution 2008R-248, which set forth “police policies regarding public assemblies.” (Read: Republican National Convention.)

Activists had decried the resolution for two main reasons. First, it allowed the use of plastic/rubbber bullets and secondly, it--in effect--permitted MPD officers to confiscate, tamper, and destroy activists' and witnesses' cameras. You know, for evidence.

Below are the amendments. (Amended material appears in bold.)

In concurrence with MPD policies, and state and constitutional law, MPD officers will not use pepper spray, tear gas, or similar substances, or projectiles except in situations where use of such force is reasonable.

In concurrence with MPD policies, that MPD officers shall not confiscate, destroy or tamper with cameras or other recording devices being used to document public assembly activities or MPD enforcement actions. The restriction on confiscation shall not apply to situations in which a) cameras or recording devices are to be used as evidence subject to First and Fourth Amendment constitutional protections, or b) MPD officers arrest an individual in possession of cameras of recording devices.

In concurrence with MPD policies, that rubber or plastic bullets or rubber-coated or plastic-coated bullets fired from conventional firearms shall not be used.

That MPD officers will not subject law abiding demonstration organizers to disparate enforcement actions. MPD officers will not target law abiding persons not engaged in demonstrating, including journalists, camera people, and legal observers, for enforcement actions.

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