Tech

Police system continues to monitor protesters after the killing of George Floyd

To support journalism at the MIT Technology Review, please consider becoming a subscriber.

OSN Team Activities

The activities of each of the OSN teams mentioned are unclear – the agencies involved in OSN responded to our request for clarification by saying that “mutual assistance” and “joint response” were common, and that a cooperative response to the trials of officers outside the killing of George Floyd had occurred. “As with any event that can span across multiple agencies or government entities, affected groups have come together to discuss how cooperation can best occur to ensure public safety,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in an email. These relationships and efforts are ongoing. OSN is no longer working. “

However, the multiple email threads we examined in October included “OSN Communications”, “OSN Executive Team” and “OSN Intel Team” meetings related to preparations for protests that might arise around the trial of Kim Potter, the officer who killed Daunte Wright, as well as the trials of the three officers Chauvin is accused of crimes related to the murder of George Floyd. (Potter was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced last month; the three officers involved in Floyd’s murder were convicted in federal court last month and are awaiting verdict.) In an email to an executive team meeting, the agenda refers to the ongoing plans as “OSN 2.0.” Bruce says Gordon, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Public Security, said any such reference was “unofficial,” and that “there was never OSN 2.0 and there hasn’t been now.”

An email from the Minneapolis Police Department regarding the October 25, 2021 “OSN Executive Team” meeting.
Agenda related to the “OSN Executive Team” meeting on October 26, 2021.
An email regarding an “OSN Communications meeting” on October 12, 2021 that included planning for Kim Potter’s trial, has nothing to do with the killing of George Floyd.

In the Intelligence Team, the common files used to pass information between law enforcement agencies have continued to be added and updated as of last October, the most recent period covered by our records requests. The group had regular meetings, according to emails of 12 people, including two from the FBI. In response to a request for comment from the MIT Technology Review, FBI Public Affairs Officer Cynthia Barrington said the office’s activities extended to information sharing “through regional and regional integration centers.” Barrington also acknowledged the bureau’s involvement in preparations for protests stemming from trials other than Chauvin. “This was the case during the lead-up to the state trial in which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was implicated, as well as during preparations leading up to subsequent court activities surrounding the highly publicized federal and state litigation.”

“The ‘Intel Team’ by name is an email group of local, state and federal agencies that take on law enforcement responsibilities during OSN,” Gordon says. “These agencies are involved in planning another event, and the same group email may have been used in other, unrelated planning efforts. All agencies involved have ongoing public safety responsibilities that have not yet ended OSN.”

An email related to the “OSN-Intel Team” dated October 5, 2021.
Email relating to information sharing between the Minneapolis Police Department and the FBI, dated October 8, 2021.

The “porous nature” of collaborative law enforcement practices creates “all of these opportunities for loopholes and evasion of public scrutiny and oversight,” said Munira Muhammad, policy assistant at the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union. Mohamed said that the ongoing nature of OSN’s activities is a “mission creep story” and that “the history of these surveillance and law enforcement agencies is that once the infrastructure for something is built, it kind of goes on, it goes on, it becomes a permanent infrastructure.”

Although it is unclear to what extent the ongoing nature of the program is formal, many of the teams, processes, and communication structures put in place for OSN remain in place today and are used to respond to protest activity. A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson told the MIT Technology Review in an email that the agency “is back to normal business at the conclusion of OSN as of Friday, April 23.” The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department declined our requests for comment.

Police system continues to monitor protesters after the killing of George Floyd

Source link Police system continues to monitor protesters after the killing of George Floyd

Back to top button