After George Floyd was unjustly killed by the Minneapolis police in May and Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police in June, tens of thousands of people around the country have taken to the streets to protest and demand an end to police brutality and the killing of Black people. These protests have been met with undue force from police in riot gear including the use of tear gas, driving vehicles into groups, and beating back peaceful crowds. Various police departments nationwide have claimed these tactics were implemented to control crowds and there has been an overwhelming amount of criticism on how police reacted to situations with excessive force.
CREW has requested documents from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Portland police agencies and offices concerning policies and tactics communicated with police officers, how and if officers were disciplined for misconduct, total budget of the protest response, and deployment of the National Guard. We have also requested additional documents surrounding Minneapolis Police Union President Lieutenant Robert Kroll’s recent conduct from the Minneapolis Police Department and any disciplinary action taken against Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe.
The records would contribute to the public’s understanding of the police’s suppression of protests, including if officers received instructions encouraging violent protest policing tactics. California, Illinois, Minnesota and Oregon do not fully disclose police misconduct data and the police must be held accountable for violence directed towards peaceful protesters. Recent events have exposed and highlighted the persistent lack of accountability in our police system, and the public urgently needs to know if police are intentionally and recklessly causing harm to civilians who are exercising their first amendment rights.