City of Minneapolis Police Brutality Personal Insurance Charter Amendment (November 2014)

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A City of Minneapolis Police Brutality Personal Insurance Charter Amendment ballot question may be on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Minneapolis in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

The Committee For Professional Policing (CFPP) is collecting signatures to qualify an initiative charter amendment for the ballot. If its petition campaign is successful, which requires the collection of 10,000 valid signatures, voters will decide on a measure that would require all city police officers to carry personal liability insurance comparable to malpractice insurance for those in the medical profession. The amendment, if approved, would establish the city as responsible for base insurance rates covering all officers, but police would be individually responsible to pay for any additional insurance premiums caused by improper, overly violent or "risky" conduct.[1][2]

According to the CFPP website, the city has spent $20 million to cover successful lawsuits against police officers over the last seven years. Dave Bicking, the Chair of CFPP spoke about the current city policy saying, “Right now, the city covers pretty much all acts of misconduct by police officers, but it's not actually required to do so.”[1][3]

Michelle Gross, President of CUAPB said, "Statistics about police brutality [are] not collected by the police. No cities keep this data in any real way. The FBI is mandated to keep this data, but no one really does it. So it's this big problem that everyone knows about, but nobody wants to quantify.”[1]

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Supporters

  • Committee For Professional Policing (CFPP)[3]
  • Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB)[4]

Arguments in favor

Michelle Gross, President of CUAPB, said, “This is not an anti-cop deal by any means. It is a way to get rid of the bad officers and keep and protect the good ones.”[1]

Bicking stated, “We've been frustrated with the fact that the city politicians, the police chief and the union really have no interest in disciplining officers or holding them to account for their conduct. All that's been effective is lawsuits. While those are important to get some kind of compensation to the victims, they do very little to solve the underlying problem of preventing future problems, because the payments are made by the taxpayers.”[1]

Bicking said, "If you're a really, really bad driver, it becomes too expensive to drive or even own a car anymore. Similarly, some officers would become uninsurable, and that would finally get those officers off the force.”[2]

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