January 30, 2023
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA

Minneapolis police used traffic stops and fake social media profiles to target communities of color


“Of the 14 people killed by MPD officers since 2010, 13 were people of color or indigenous people,” the report said. “Caste and indigenous people make up about 42% of the population of Minneapolis but accounted for 93% of all MPD officer-related deaths between January 1, 2010 and February 2, 2022.”

The widespread use of chemical and other “less-lethal” weapons also shows a clear racial disparity. MPD officers deployed more pepper spray against blacks than whites. From the report: “Officers have recorded 25.1% of incidents involving the use of chemical irritants in cases involving black people. In contrast, MPD officials recorded 18.2% of cases involving white people in the same situation using chemical stimuli. “Overall, according to the report,” between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2020, MPD officers recorded incidents of using force. 63% were against black people. ”

The traffic stop was unfortunately no different. “Although blacks make up about 19% of the population of Minneapolis, MPD data show that from January 1, 2017 to May 24, 2020, 78% of all searches conducted by MPD officers – or more than 6,500 – black people or their searches Vehicle when the vehicle started by the officer stops. According to the report, black people in Minneapolis are six times more likely to use force during traffic stops than their white neighbors.

The Minneapolis Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Secret Police: An MIT Technology Review Investigation

The story is part of a series on how federal and local law enforcement have deployed state-of-the-art equipment to create an overall surveillance system on Minneapolis streets and provide an unprecedented look at what this means for the future of policing. You can find the full series here.

Unlawful surveillance

The report also describes the use of the Secret Social Media Accounts Division to monitor black people: Security purposes. ”

Online, officers used secret accounts to track, comment, and message groups such as the NAACP and the Urban League when posing as sympathizers.

“In one case, an MPD officer used an MPD secret account to send a message criticizing the group to the local branch of the NAACP for posing as a member of the black community. In another case, an MPD officer posed as a community member and RSVPed to attend the birthday party of a prominent black civil rights lawyer and activist, ”the report said.

Similarly, MIT Technology Review’s reporting shows that officers kept at least three watch lists of people in and around demonstrations related to race and policing. Nine state and local policing groups were part of Operation Safety Net, a multi-agency response program that worked to increase surveillance equipment acquisition, data set compilation and communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Homeland Security. Time to protest racial justice in the state. The program continued long before its publicly announced demolition.

Although our investigation does not examine the extent of racial bias, it does show that local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have learned to work together to protest anonymously – a key principle of free speech protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. – All but impossible.


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