Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law today a bill that overwhelmingly passed both the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, which will weaken the agency that investigates police misconduct in Minneapolis.
The bill was introduced at the behest of the Minneapolis Police Federation, a union which is considered very influential at the Capitol, but it was opposed by the city of Minneapolis, which sent staffers over to committees in the House and Senate to testify against it.
The bill passed the Senate on March 29 by a 59-5 vote, and passed the House Monday, 107 to 25. It was sent to Dayton on Tuesday for his signature.
As I wrote in the Star Tribune on Friday, the bill would prohibit civilian review boards in Minnesota from making “a finding of fact or determination regarding a complaint against an officer” although a review board could continue to make non-binding recommendations to the police chief.
Currently, the Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority issues findings of fact, but the chief decides whether to impose discipline. In December, the authority complained that Chief Timothy Dolan rarely imposed discipline when the board recommended it.