RNC Arrests: MPLS City Council hears, sees no evil

The Minneapolis City Council says it won’t investigate the Minneapolis Police Department of any wrongdoing with regards to the Republican National Convention. Why not, you ask? Because apparently that would send the wrong message.

Cam Gordon and Gary Schiff—the only MPLS councilmembers who’ve displayed anything resembling boldness on this matter—once again took on the aura of sequestered lepers during a committee meeting Wednesday when they called for a more expansive look into the MPD’s RNC deeds. Namely, they recommended the council examine the MPD’s participation in the authoritarian-flavored “preemptive raids” carried out the weekend before the RNC, in addition to inspecting the department’s overall “participation in law enforcement responses to protests in St. Paul.”

Councilmember Paul Ostrow disagreed, noting that such a move might spawn the hideous impression that the city council is investigating the Minneapolis police department. Which, as Ostrow explained to his fellow committee members, would make for really, really bad PR.

“I personally don't see a need for council action," he said during the meeting. "I'm going to be blunt about this, because I know what the headlines are going to be, 'City Council calls for investigation of Minneapolis police department.' We don't need an investigation of the Minneapolis police department when the Minneapolis police department is already saying they're moving forward on an After Action report.”

As we reported earlier this week, the aforesaid After Action report will not delve into any police misconduct. Which means Ostrow could’ve just come out with it and said, “We don’t see a need to mount an obligatory sham investigation, because the Minneapolis police department is moving forward with an obligatory sham investigation of its own,” which, granted, would have made for even worse PR.

In what can only be assumed to be a deft stab at self-deprecating social commentary, Councilmember Don Samuels quipped that he would support looking into the infamous pre-RNC house raids on the condition that the report be called a “success report.”

Among the questions Cam Gordon wants (but won’t get) answers to, is what role the Federal Government—specifically, the Joint Terrorism Task Force—played in the dissent-quelling goings-on both before and during the convention. (We already know of at least one activity the JTTF played in the lead-up.)

“I don’t know how other members view their jobs necessarily, but I view mine as a serious obligation to ask questions, not just for our future decisions, but also so the general public can get answers,” says Gordon.

So what explains the council’s slavish deference to the MPD’s watered-down investigation into, uh, itself?

Difficult to say, but one could be forgiven for concluding that local law enforcement agencies acted as mere pawns for the Federal Government’s “anti-terrorism” apparatus and some councilmembers know better than to cast suspicion upon an official protocol that originated way, way, way above their quaint municipal-level heads.

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