Little money for police sensitivity courses spent

Published 1:40 pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — A lawsuit settlement six years ago provided more than $1.5 million for racial sensitivity training to help police in Minnesota avoid the type of confrontations that led to the shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights.

So far, nearly $215,000 of that settlement has been spent, but not one training course has been offered. The 2010 settlement involved the Metro Gang Strike Force, a team that was accused of improperly seizing money and property and brutalizing innocent victims, many of whom were people of color.

The attorney for the unit, Joseph Flynn, said funding for the training wasn’t distributed until three years after the settlement. Flynn says the expert developing the training retired in 2015 and a new leader is reworking the course to be used online.

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