Filing a Complaint
Why Should You File?
- Accountability: Filing a complaint can result in the discipline of an officer who commits misconduct and can alert police management of potentially abusive officers who engage in unauthorized or unlawful behavior.
- Transparency: Filing a complaint increases citizen participation in policing, allowing for greater transparency in civilian oversight.
- Public Trust: By holding officers accountable and deterring future misconduct, complaints improve policing in the City of Minneapolis, increasing public trust.
Filing a Complaint
You may file a complaint online, at your local precinct, in person, or by mailing a signed copy of the complaint form below. You may also visit our offices in Minneapolis City Hall to collect a complaint form. Complaints must be filed with the OPCR within 270 days (9 months) of the date of the alleged police misconduct.
- The OPCR investigates misconduct including any of the following:
- Use of Excessive Force
- Inappropriate Language/Attitude
- Failure to Provide Adequate or Timely Police Protection
- Any violations of the Minneapolis Police Policy and Procedure Manual
- Criminal misconduct (to be investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit, per 172.30 (c))
Cards explaining how to file a complaint, as well as the complaint process, are available at any Minneapolis Police Precinct.
For a detailed description of the OPCR Complaint Process, read the OPCR Complaint Process Manual (PDF) or see the flow chart below for an overview.
Is the OPCR part of the Minneapolis Police Department?
- The OPCR is made up of two units, civilians from the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and sworn officers of the Minneapolis Police Department Internal Affairs Unit. As such, the OPCR is not a part of the police department but works with officers to resolve complaints in a way that is objective and fair.
How do I file a complaint about police misconduct?
- Online -- Complete the online form and an investigator will follow up with you.
- By phone -- Call the Office of Police Conduct Review - Civilian Unit at: 612-673-5500; or the Internal Affairs unit at 612-673-3074. You can also file by calling 311 Resource Information.
- In person -- Visit the Office of Police Conduct Review: 350 South 5th Street, City hall Room 2339, Minneapolis, MN 55415 or stop by any police precinct in the City of Minneapolis.
A complaint becomes official once the complainant signs it and it's received by the Office of Police Conduct Review. All online complaints will be considered and can vbe signed at a later date.
What kinds of complaints are received?
- The Office of Police Conduct Review receives complaints that allege misconduct by an individual Minneapolis Police officer or officers, including, but not limited to:
- Use of excessive force
- Inappropriate language or attitude
- Discrimination in the provision of police services or other discriminatory conduct on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation
- Failure to provide adequate or timely police protection
- Any violation of the Minneapolis Police Department Policy & Procedure Manual
- Criminal misconduct.
Who can file a complaint??
- Any person who has personal knowledge of alleged misconduct on the part of a Minneapolis Police officer may file a complaint. A parent or legal guardian may file on behalf of a minor. A family member, conservator or legal guardian may file on behalf of a vulnerable adult. All complaints must be filed within 270 days (approximately 9 months) of the alleged misconduct.
Do I have to know the officer's name, badge number, or squad number?
- While this information is useful to OPCR investigators, it is not necessary to file a complaint. OPCR investigators have access to a variety of tools to determine which officers were involved in the event. However, the OPCR is unable to investigate allegations when an officer cannot be identified through any means.
Can I file a complaint with the OPCR against an officer from another city, Hennepin County, or the University of Minnesota?
- No, the OPCR is limited to cases involving sworn members of the Minneapolis Police Department. However, OPCR staff may be able to refer you to the correct agency.
What if I think I deserve financial compensation the result of an officer's actions?
- The OPCR does not provide financial reimbursement as a result of a completed investigation. You may contact a private attorney to discuss options while filing a complaint with the OPCR. The OPCR cannot provide you with legal advice or representation. If your property was damaged by the police and you would like to file a claim, contact Risk Management at (612) 673-2969.
If I have been charged with a crime, will filing a complaint affect the criminal case?
- Filing a complaint with the OPCR will not affect a criminal case as the two processes are completely separate. The OPCR cannot provide you with legal advice or representation.
What happens to a complaint after it’s filed?
- Once a complaint is received by the Office of Police Conduct Review, staff will decide how the allegations should be handled:
- Mediation – Mediators can meet with the person making the complaint and the officer or officers involved in an attempt to resolve the situation.
- Supervisor review – With minor allegations, complaints can go to the immediate supervisor of an officer or officers for action at the precinct.
- Dismissal – If the complaint does not allege a violation or is not jurisdictional.
- Investigation – Claims of more serious misconduct are investigated. The civilian and sworn heads of the Office of Police Conduct Review decide whether to assign a civilian or police investigator to the case. Results of case investigations go to the Police Conduct Review Panel, where two civilians and two sworn officers look at the results of the investigation and issue a recommendation to the Minneapolis Police Chief, who has the ultimate responsibility for discipline.
If I file a complaint, will I be notified of the outcome?
- As there are a variety of options for completing a case, not all complainants will be notified of their complaint’s final outcome. However, they will be provided with updates throughout the process. When the Police Conduct Review Panel issues a recommendation to the chief that the complaint has no merit, the complainant will be notified and will have 15 days to appeal the decision. The final disciplinary decision by the police chief is public subject to the Minnesota Government Data Practice Act.
Last updated Dec 15, 2017