FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From NAACP Minneapolis
Attend Governor Dayton's Council on Police and Community Relations Meeting on Monday, March 13
In the wake of the police killings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, the next meeting of Governor Mark Dayton’s Council on Police and Community Relations Committee is slated to convene Monday, March 13 at 3:00 pm in the Governor’s conference room in the Capitol building. Draft recommendations from the council’s work will be presented and discussed. Community members are invited and encouraged to attend.
The charge of the council is to make independent policy recommendations that will improve trust between police and the communities they serve. There are 15 voting and 17 non-voting members who represent law enforcement, various community organizations, and the families of Clark and Castile.
The council meetings are supposed to be transparent and open to the public. Per the governor’s office, “Anyone who wants their voice heard in the work of the council will have the opportunity to do so at its open, public meetings.” But the meetings have not been widely advertised to the community. Only the large group portions of the first two meetings were recorded and no other records apart from abbreviated minutes exist. Because there are no transcripts, there is no way to check back on what council members said; to give one example, it’s not clear what conversation took place around implicit bias training, or which members supported and which opposed that critical component.
This committee is intended to be a partnership between the community and law enforcement. But the timing of the meetings favors participation by law enforcement representatives, who can attend “on the clock” whereas community members have to work around their family and other work responsibilities. The lack of childcare also hinders participation by community members with families. These structural effects have had the net impact of giving law enforcement perspectives disproportionate influence in developing the council recommendations. We encourage community members to attend the meeting this afternoon, to evaluate and assess the draft recommendations from the council, and to help shape this important process.
Whether or not you're able to attend, we encourage you to follow the work of this Council and offer your feedback as a member of the community. We will be circulating information on the recommendations that come from this council, upcoming meetings, and contact information for action. It is vitally important that we prevent law enforcement from shaping the entire process and then claiming to speak for the community.