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Forum News Service, Published December 19 2013

Dayton calls Minneapolis plan to investigate officer-involved incidents off base

ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton strongly criticized the Minneapolis police chief Thursday after she announced a state agency would investigate officer-involved incidents in the state's largest city.

There is no such deal, Dayton said, and the idea goes against the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s mission.

Chief Janee Harteau announced Wednesday that the BCA automatically would handle her department's most serious internal investigations. For example, the BCA would investigate any shooting death involving an officer.

Dayton called Harteau's announcement “very inappropriate.” He said his public safety commissioner, who oversees the BCA, had not agreed to such an arrangement.

No cases are automatically handed over to the BCA, he said, and the BCA does not have enough personnel to handle that. Each request for BCA assistance goes through a process to determine whether the aid is warranted.

Many of the requests are for specific tests that local communities, mostly outside the twin Cities, do not have the ability to handle.

If Minneapolis could turn over all of its major internal investigations, Dayton predicted, other cities would expect similar treatment.