A police system for watching protesters kept going after George Floyd’s murder

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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 stating that “mutual assistance” and “joint response” are common, and that it is a collaborative response to the trial for outside officials. George Floyd was assassinated. “As with any incident involving multiple agencies or government agencies, the affected groups met to discuss how cooperation could be best done to ensure public safety,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in an email. “These relationships and efforts continue. OSN is no longer working.”

However, multiple email chains we examined in October included “OSN Communications,” “OSN Executive Team” and “OSN Intel Team” meetings related to protest preparations that could arise around Kim Potter’s trial Did. Trial for three officers, including Chauvin, who was charged with felony criminal mischief for murdering Wright and George Floyd. (Potter was convicted of murder and sentenced last month; three officers involved in Floyd’s murder were convicted in federal court last month and are awaiting sentencing.) In an executive team meeting email, As referred to. Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the state’s public safety department, said any such reference was “informal” and that “OSN 2.0 never was and is not.”

An email from the Minneapolis Police Department regarding the meeting of the “OSN Executive Team” on October 25, 2021.
Agenda related to the “OSN Executive Team” meeting on October 26, 2021.
An email related to the “OSN Communications Meeting” dated October 12, 2021, which included planning for Kim Potter’s trial, not related to the assassination of George Floyd.

On the intelligence team, shared files used to pass information between law enforcement agencies continued to be added and updated until last October, the latest period covered by our record requests. The group was holding regular meetings, according to emails from 12 people, including two from the FBI. In response to a request for comment from the MIT Technology Review, Cynthia Barrington, a public relations officer with the FBI, said the bureau’s activities extend to information sharing “by state and regional fusion centers.” Barrington also acknowledged the bureau’s involvement in the preparation of the protests, which stemmed from trials other than those of Chauvins. The case was filed during a state trial involving former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, as well as preparations for subsequent high-profile state and federal court proceedings.

“By name, ‘Intel Team’ is an email group of local, state and federal agencies with law enforcement responsibilities during the OSN,” says Gordon. “These agencies are involved in other event planning, and the same group email may have been used in other, unrelated planning efforts. All of the agencies involved have ongoing public safety responsibilities that do not expire upon OSN expiration.”

Email related to “OSN-Intel Team” dated October 5, 2021.
Information regarding the sharing of information between the Minneapolis Police Department and the FBI on October 8, 2021.

Munira Mohammed, a police associate at the ACLU in Minnesota, said the “porous nature” of collaborative law enforcement practices “creates all these opportunities for loopholes and to avoid public scrutiny and public oversight.” Mohammed said the ongoing nature of OSN activities is a “story of mission creep” and that “the history of surveillance and law enforcement agencies is that once the infrastructure for something is set up, it kind of continues indefinitely, and it continues.” It becomes a permanent infrastructure. “

Although it is unclear to what extent the ongoing nature of the program is formal, many of the teams, operations, and communication structures placed for OSN are still in effect today and are used to respond to protest activity. A spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department said in an email to the MIT Technology Review that the agency had “returned to normal operations on Friday, April 23, following the conclusion of an effective OSN.” The Hannepin County Sheriff’s Department declined our request for comment.

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