Minneapolis council rejects contract with Sally Yates to investigate ketamine use

September 21, 2018

In a rebuke of Mayor Jacob Freys promise, the City Council voted Friday to reject a contract with former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates to lead an independent investigation into whether Minneapolis police inappropriately urged paramedics to sedate people with ketamine during emergency calls.

Before voting 10-3 against the contract, several council members said paying Yates firm, King and Spalding LLP, $195,000 did not make fiscal sense, given it would come out of an already-strained police budget and Minneapolis police oversight staff already conducted an internal investigation.

In doing so, the council cuts ties with the firm, which it already owes $50,000 for initial work, three months after Frey announced plans to hire Yates in response to community calls for a third-party, out-of-state investigation into the police department.

The Council also did not address its own resolution from June to conduct an independent investigation, or indicate it had any plans to pursue one now.

This is something that we all agreed was necessary just three short months ago, said Council Member Linea Palmisano, one of three who voted in favor.

Council Member Steve Fletcher, who voted against the contract, said things have changed since reports came out about the ketamine incidents in June.

I think that weve learned since then, said Fletcher. I think weve learned quite a lot.

The councils action comes three months after the Star Tribune obtained a draft of a city investigation that questioned why police were seen repeatedly on body-camera footage asking medical practitioners to use ketamine during encounters with the public. The citys Office of Police Conduct Review made its findings public in July, which recommended the city clarify its policies on how police interact with paramedics.

Andy Mannix 612-673-4036

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