Report: State’s Slow Reactions, Poor Communication Made Riots After George Floyd’s Murder Worse

1 April 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state’s slow reactions and poor communication likely made the Minneapolis riots worse, according to the findings of an independent investigation.

It’s the latest study that says what just about everyone who lived through the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder knows: the response was too slow and too poorly coordinated.

State officials say part of the problem was the scope.

“I’ve seen protests that have gathered a few thousand people, but I’ve never seen 10,000 people out on the street with a common cause,” said John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The study by Wilder Research, commissioned by the state, says basic training is needed to help cities like Minneapolis learn how and when to ask for help for state and mutual aide.

“When there’s a crisis, when there’s an emergency, what can the [Minnesota National Guard] do? What can local police do? And what does mutual aid really look like?” Harrington said.

(credit: CBS)

The report also noted the need for law enforcement training to distinguish between peaceful and violent protestors, as well as journalists covering events.

“Beating up on reporters, you know, that’s not public safety. Firing randomly into groups of people with rubber bullets, that’s not public safety,” said Rep. Carlos Mariani, (DFL-District 65B).

Gov. Tim Walz’s spokesperson says the governor has reviewed the study and its recommendations, and that he is urging the legislature to pass his budget proposal for $300 million for first responders and local law enforcement to improve future responses.

This report comes after the release of another report focusing on the city of Minneapolis’ response. Both reports have similar conclusions and recommend improving communications and coordination between agencies and governments — something both the state and city of Minneapolis insist they have been working on since the events of 2020.

A Minneapolis spokesperson told WCCO the city is reviewing the report and is in the process of implementing recommendations from the separate report they received earlier this month.

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