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Report: Minneapolis failed to follow emergency protocols during protests, riots

Chad McGinty, a former law enforcement officer who worked on the review, described a breakdown of "critical" communication among government agencies during the unrest that left first responders with "limited" guidance as they fielded calls during the chaos and resulted in an inconsistent police show of force.

Minneapolis riots protocol
A long-awaited report says Minneapolis officials failed to follow the city's emergency protocols when responding to protests and riots that erupted across the city in response to George Floyd's murder in 2020. Pictured here, law enforcement officers amass to protect nearby firefighters as a blaze burns at Migizi, the Native American nonprofit in south Minneapolis, near the Minneapolis police Third Precinct on May 29, 2020.
Star Tribune / TNS file photo
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MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis officials failed to follow the city's emergency protocols when responding to protests and riots that erupted across the city in response to George Floyd's murder in a 10-day period starting May 25, 2020, according to a presentation given to City Council members Tuesday by the authors of the long-anticipated after-action report.

Chad McGinty, a former law enforcement officer who worked on the review, described a breakdown of "critical" communication among government agencies during the unrest that left first responders with "limited" guidance as they fielded calls during the chaos and resulted in an inconsistent police show of force.

In looking at 30 to 35 hours of body camera, "there was a vast, vast void in consistent rules of engagement and control" regarding use of chemical munitions and less-lethal rounds, McGinty told council members.

Additionally, he said, the Minneapolis Fire Department did not call for mutual aid or use emergency staffing to provide for effective assignment of resources.

McGinty offered the first insights into the report, conducted by Maryland risk management firm Hillard Heintze, which the city has still not released to the public, despite requests from reporters and other council members.

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"The City Council has only had extremely limited access to the review document," Council Member Robin Wonsley Worlobah wrote in a newsletter to constituents earlier this week. "I find both of these decisions problematic and have shared these concerns about lack of transparency with leadership."

The report is expected to provide insight into how Minneapolis agencies operated in the days following Floyd's murder and how they could avoid a repeat of the problems that plagued their response, if a similar scenario arises in the future.

Floyd's death in May of 2020 prompted protests in Minneapolis and across the nation, renewing a debate about police use of force. The Twin Cities also experienced looting and arson, with more than 1,500 businesses reporting an estimated $500 million in damages. City and state officials have publicly traded barbs over who was responsible for problems with the response.

©2022 StarTribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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