Police review chair ordered to do his job
From Dave Bicking: News flash - much more to come later tonight when I have the documents and the time....
Late this afternoon District Court Judge Susan Berk (sp?) signed a Writ of Mandamus directing CRA [Civilian Review Authority] Chair Don Bellfield to obey the law - the CRA Ordinance saying that he SHALL notify the Executive Committee of the Mpls City Council of the failure of Police Chief Dolan to follow the section of the CRA Ordinance regarding the issuing of discipline in sustained CRA cases. He must submit that notification to the Executive Committee by 10am tomorrow morning (Wednesday, Feb 17), OR appear in court to show cause as to why he has not done so.
We couldn't have asked for anything better.
He is being served with that order tonight at his home. It will be up to him which course of action to choose. If he makes the notification, it will happen before or during the Executive Committee meeting which starts at 9:30am. We will be prepared for the court hearing, at which both sides may make their case. The court hearing is open to the public, in the Hennepin County Government Center - check with the assignment desk if you want to come.
This is a granting of the first half of our "Petition for Writ of Mandamus", which is directed at Bellfield. The second half asks the Court to order Chief Dolan to comply with the law, or show cause at a court hearing. That is less urgent - though more important - and will be decided later. This ruling is a good sign, though.
This is a small but significant step toward restoring the authority and purpose of the CRA.