Should Minneapolis investigate police shooting internally? - KMSP-TV

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Should Minneapolis police investigate Uptown shooting internally?

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The fatal, officer-involved shooting in Uptown on Friday is the sort of incident that requires investigation -- but should Minneapolis police be conducting it?

One suspect was killed, two officers were shot, and blocks away, a motorcyclist died after colliding with a police squad that was responding to the scene of the shooting. There are still many unanswered questions about the complicated series of events, and that has some wondering if Minneapolis police should be looking into it on their own.

There have certainly been other deadly cases involving police officers where the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension or another outside agency has been called in for review, but so far, the Minneapolis Police Department is going it alone.

Three days have passed since the chaotic scene unfolded. Terrence Franklin was fatally shot, and his family has been demanding a full account of what happened ever since.

"I did note that the city has been pretty tight-lipped about who did what when, leaving families wanting more," said attorney Paul Edlund.

With each passing day, the nagging, unanswered questions seem to grow louder and louder, but investigators have been largely silent.

The department elected to investigate internally rather than bringing in an outside law enforcement agency as a neutral, second set of eyes. While there is nothing illegal about that, Edlund said it just doesn't pass the smell test.

"That's the natural reaction, to be suspect of an organization -- in this case, the police department -- reviewing the actions of one of its own," he said.

As the state's largest police department, MPD certainly has plenty of resources -- and Edlund knows it. A few years ago, he took on the department after video of his client being assaulted by several officers during a routine drunk driving stop surfaced. Charges against his client were eventually dropped and Edlund settled a claim with the city in excess of $225,000.

Perhaps it's no surprise that Edlund believes having an outside agency review Friday's deadly pursuit and subsequent motorcycle crash is in everyone's best interest.

"Even if they reach the same conclusion that nothing wrong happened, families feel better about that and the public would feel better about that," he said.

Yet, Neil Melton, of the state's board of peace officer standards and training, encourages everyone to take a deep breath and understand that it would take any agency time to complete an investigation.

"We have years to play this one. This takes time," Melton said. "When people die, people get hurt, we need to know."

Minneapolis police have promised a thorough and transparent investigation and ask the public to be patient. A spokeswoman told FOX 9 News more information may be released by midweek.

It is still possible that an outside agency may be called in for review once the Minneapolis Police Department has finished its investigation.

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