Author: The Leadership Conference Education Fund | Date: 11 December 2020
MINNEAPOLIS, MN—The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in partnership with Black Visions Collective, Unidos MN, and the Native American Community Development Institute, today released “Public Safety in Minneapolis: Community Perceptions of Policing”, a grassroots evaluation of policing in Minneapolis that highlights the deep distrust and dissatisfaction with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) across Black, Latino, and Native American communities.
Based on focus groups, mixed-methods surveys, and one-on-one interviews conducted before and after the murder of George Floyd, the report examines community members’ perception of MPD’s behavior concerning key issues, such as use of force practices, responses to mental health crises, and accessibility. Key findings include:
- Respondents believe MPD uses force inappropriately and are not held accountable for their misconduct. An overwhelming 74.5% of Black respondents do not believe MPD face accountability for misconduct. 56.3% of Native American respondents and 54.7% of Latino respondents said the same.
- Respondents find MPD to be mostly unhelpful dealing with mental health calls. 81.3% of Black respondents who had interacted with police during a mental health call did not find MPD helpful, an opinion echoed by 60.7% of Latino and 51% of Native respondents.
- Respondents overwhelmingly feel MPD is inaccessible. 90.8% of Black respondents do not believe or do not know if MPD is accessible, regarding language barriers, accessibility, and mental health crises. 74.1% of Latino respondents and 75.6% of Native American respondents responded the same.
- Most community members do not know MPD officers personally. 74.6% of Black respondents, 71.2% of Latino respondents, and 56.3% of Native American respondents reported they did not personally know any MPD officers.
“Communities are truly safe when an accountable, transparent public safety system protects the health and well-being of every resident. This report reveals the extent to which communities of color in Minneapolis do not feel respected, protected, or heard by law enforcement,” said Lynda Garcia, director of The Leadership Conference Education Fund policing program. “Tragedies like the murder of George Floyd are symptomatic of an unjust policing system that criminalizes Black, Latino, and Native American people and other people of color. In Minneapolis and across the country, these systemic problems require community-led solutions that prioritize equity, accountability, transparency, and healing.”
“This survey only demonstrates what we’ve known for decades—that Black communities in Minneapolis need this untenable system to be completely transformed,” said Kandace Montgomery, co-executive director of Black Visions Collective. “We have to demand that such change be made possible, by ensuring the services and support we need are prioritized, thoroughly funded, and centered within our communities. We deserve better and must forge a future where public safety is community-led.”
“This community survey reveals just how urgently change is needed for the Native American community in Minneapolis,” said Elizabeth Day, community engagement programs manager, Native American Community Development Initiative. “All of the communities of color need to be included in the conversation to reimagine public safety in Minneapolis, to ensure we get the support and services we need to keep our communities safe and thriving.”
“Much like the city’s Black and Native American communities, Latino people in Minneapolis are ready for genuine, deep, systemic changes to public safety practices,” said Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, executive director of Unidos-MN. “These survey results are not just numbers—they reflect the real voices of the Latino community. Those voices must be included in the conversation about how to create just, accountable, and equitable community-led public safety programs for people of color in Minneapolis.”
The Minneapolis community assessment is based on surveys, one-on-one interviews, and listening sessions conducted between April and November 2020 with 597 adult residents of Minneapolis. Respondents were split evenly between the Black (African American and Somali), Latino and Native communities. 498 surveys were completed, resulting in a margin of error of 6.33% for Black and Somali respondents, 8.91% for Native respondents, and 8.31% for Latino respondents.
Read More of The Report's Findings Here:
Minneapolis Police Report (323 KB)
The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit https://civilrights.org/edfund/.