Dayton signs police body cam bill; law makes most footage unavailable to public

Office of the Governor
Gov. Mark Dayton

It’s the law now. Tim Pugmire’s MPR story says, “Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law Tuesday that regulates the use of police body cameras. The measure passed in the final weekend of the 2016 session will make most of the video recordings inaccessible to the public. Lawmakers removed a provision to allow law enforcement officers to review recordings before writing incident reports. Dayton said he wouldn’t sign the bill unless that change was made.”

My heirs have no idea how lucky they’re going to be. At KSTP-TV, Tom Hauser writes: “Writing your will and making an estate plan no longer just involves who gets your money and your physical possessions after you die. Now it will also include who gets your pictures, e-mails and other data stored on your smartphone, desktop computer or in a cloud. ‘You can specifically say I want folks to have access to my digital account or I don’t,’ says Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center.  Hilstrom authored a bill to help Minnesotans preserve their ‘digital assets’ after they die. The governor signed the legislation into law as part of a larger bill dealing with probate issues.”

I suppose you could look at it this way: Everyone in the school is safer when everyone is out of the building. Says Andy Rathbun in the PiPress, “Dozens of students at St. Paul Central High School walked out of school and marched down Marshall Avenue on Tuesday afternoon to protest what they say is mistreatment by student resource officers. The protest follows a school resource officer’s May 25 arrest of a former student outside the school. Captured on cellphone video, the incident prompted criticism of the amount of force used by the officer to arrest the 16-year-old.”

Tell us something we don’t already know. At ESPN, Eamonn Brennan writes of a certain collegiate basketball team: “An 8-23 season for [the University of] Minnesota is bad enough. A No. 223 finish — one spot behind St. John’s — in the KenPom.com adjusted efficiency rankings is insult aplenty. Having a tearful senior, half-thrilled and half-exhausted, explaining the importance of winning at least one conference game as the highlight of your season is rough. But when the president of the university greets your newly hired athletic director with interjections like this: ‘Frankly, this has been a tough week and a tough couple of months for our men’s basketball program. I’m profoundly disappointed in the continuing episodes, poor judgment, alleged crimes, and it simply can’t continue,’ Eric Kaler said. … then, yeah, it’s a mess.”

It’s not so much plastics anymore. Says Adam Belz in the Strib, “The job market isn’t changing as much as you might have heard. The Minnesota economy by 2022 will demand a slightly lower-skill workforce than it does today, according to a Star Tribune analysis of projections from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. But the change will not be dramatic. The share of jobs classified as low skill will grow a little, the share of jobs classified as middle skill will decline a little, and the share of jobs requiring high skill workers will be up ever so slightly.”

It’s practically arboreal. Says Rochelle Olson for the Strib about the Vikings’ stadium’s new landscaping, “[Tadd] Kreun, of Minneapolis-based Oslund and Associates, was the project landscape architect for the $1.1 billion Vikings stadium, the largest public-private construction effort in state history. Landscaping involves years of planning, not just throwing up a bunch of bushes and purple and gold flowers for the Vikings, the building’s main tenant and financier of more than half the building. … Kreun said he approached the landscape design around the building, nearly double the size of the Metrodome that preceded it, as a series of zones, ‘linear spaces you move through.’”

Not good even if “sugar frosted.” MPR says, “General Mills is voluntarily recalling more than 10 million pounds of Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchens branded flour products amid concerns they could be linked to a multi-state E. coli outbreak. So far the strain in question, E. coli O121, hasn’t been found in any General Mills flour or at its manufacturing facility, the Minneapolis-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. The recall is voluntary and was made ‘out of an abundance of caution’, General Mills said.”

Dang, but we’re great. Writes C.J. Sinner in the Strib, “When it comes to ‘Best of’ lists, Minneapolis-St. Paul have routinely appeared in rankings of things like parks, eats and jobs. Now, website Patch of Earth has combined seven such lists to create what we will happily call a Definitive U.S. City Power Ranking. They call it the ‘Absolute Top Cities.’ We’ll take it. Because guess who’s on top. We are.”

Sorry, I’m still not grasping the unique levels of concern over this plane ride. Nevertheless, the Strib is editorializing, “A bipartisan, unanimous push from Minnesota’s congressional delegation provides solid rationale for why the U.S. Department of Transportation should grant a request from Delta Air Lines to fly from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The Haneda Airport is significantly closer to downtown Tokyo than Delta’s current destination, the Narita Airport.” Frankly, I’m more concerned about the hour it takes to get from Minneapolis to St. Paul.

Brother. For KMSP-TV Paul Blume writes, “Two Minnesotans are dead after their Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with an SUV that tried turning in front of them in western Wisconsin on Memorial Day. According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, the motorcycle was being operated by James Marinaro, 58, of New Brighton, and was traveling westbound on Highway 10 with passenger Denise Thomas, 52, of Blaine. At 6 p.m., a Ford Explorer being driven by a 20-year-old female from Ellsworth, Wis., was traveling eastbound on Highway 10 and attempted to make a left hand turn onto 450th Avenue in Ellsworth Township. The driver was delivering pizzas for a local restaurant. … Both Marinaro and Thomas, who were not wearing helmets, were pronounced dead on scene by the Pierce County Medical Examiner.”

How bad does the National Guard need people? Stribber Paul Walsh writes, “Over the objection of County Attorney Mike Freeman, the lookout during an armed robbery of patrons in a Minneapolis sports bar was given a 90-day jail sentence and granted court permission to leave his cell so he can fulfill his duties with the Minnesota Army National Guard. Richard R. Collins, 22, of Minneapolis, was sentenced last week in Hennepin County District Court after pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated robbery stemming from the stickup on Jan. 11 of Sporty’s Pub and Grill near the University of Minnesota.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/01/2016 - 07:07 am.

    “Inaccessible to the public”

    With respect to police body camera video being “inaccessible to the public”: I believe the law provides for those being recorded to request copies of the video, and then *they*, if they so choose, can disseminate the videos via YouTube, the media, etc.

    So I don’t know if I’d say the videos are strictly “inaccessible to the public”. Just that there’s one more step of “approval”, if you will, before the public would get to see them.

    • Submitted by Pat McGee on 06/01/2016 - 10:00 am.

      VIdeos WILL be inaccessible

      The public can request. Per the body came and existing data privacy laws, requests can and will be denied for a long list of reasons. Those requests that meet the limited definition of releasable to the public still will meet with the reality of a woefully understaffed records unit who are months behind in current requests for data. This has been widely reported in the media for the last few years. The office is only getting further behind with no effective or realistic plans to change that situation. And since there is no good photo op for the chief in pictures of staff drowning in paperwork, rest assured, that won’t change till there is a public outcry for reasonable access to data and videos.

  2. Submitted by Greg Price on 06/01/2016 - 08:46 am.

    Discharge is probably in process…

    No way is our military gonna keep a convicted armed robber in uniform….would bet dollars to doughnuts that he is in process of getting a dishonorable discharge right now…

    Greg Price

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