Deadly Force Encounters Group Meets in Cloquet

Updated: October 17, 2019 08:51 PM

Based on the headlines, you might think most of the officer-involved shootings take place in the Twin Cities. But Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that's not true, "The majority are in the Twin Cities. A lot of people think it's a people of color problem, and urban problem. But the truth is, it's everybody's problem, and we're working on it," he said.

The 16-member working group he convened to reduce the number of deadly encounters met in Cloquet on Thursday.

One of the speakers was Drew Evans, the superintendent of the Minnesota BCA. He said that officers involved in shootings are not required to speak to them, and that the officer's legal counsel often tell them to wait a couple of days before giving a statement.

He also explained more about body camera footage, saying that it's the local agencies who make the decision on when to release the footage.

Questions from the panel included why the officers aren't required to speak to the BCA, and why body cameras aren't required by all law enforcement.

One of the speakers was Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen. He said that body cameras are great tools, but they also pose a great challenge for smaller departments like his.

The panel includes St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin. "It's been phenomenal hearing the ideas, because this is about protecting the public and the police. For example, in Calfornia, they have a deadline of 45 days, or something like that, of when they can release the footage."

Ellison said there will likely be at least one more hearing in the northern part of the state. The working group is going to put together recommendations for the legislature and law enforcement.

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