A police system to monitor protesters continues to operate after the murder of George Floyd

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Activities of OSN . group

The activities of each OSN group mentioned are unclear—OSN . related agencies responded to our request for clarification by saying that “mutual assistance” and “common response” are common and that a cooperative response to the trials of officers outside the case George Floyd’s murder happened. “As with any event that can span multiple government agencies or organisations, affected groups have met to discuss how best to work together to ensure public safety. plus,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in an email. “These relationships and efforts continue. OSN is no longer active. ”

However, many of the email chains we examined in October including “OSN Communications”, “OSN Executive Team” and “OSN Intel Team” meetings related to preparations for possible protests. arose around the trial of Kim Potter, the officer who killed Daunte Wright, as well as the trials of three other officers besides Chauvin, who were charged in connection with the murder of George Floyd. (Potter was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced last month; The three officers involved in Floyd’s murder are convicted in federal court last month and is awaiting sentencing.) In an executive group meeting email, the program referred to its ongoing plans as “OSN 2.0”. Bruce Gordon, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Public Safety, said any such reference is “unofficial” and “has never been, nor is there currently, no OSN 2.0.” .

An email from the Minneapolis police department about the October 25, 2021 “OSN Executive Team” meeting.
The agenda for the meeting of the “OSN Executive Group” on October 26, 2021.
Email related to “OSN Media Meeting” on October 12, 2021 regarding the planning of Kim Potter’s trial, unrelated to the murder of George Floyd.

On the intelligence team’s side, shared files used to transfer information between law enforcement agencies continue to be added and updated since last October, which is the latest time period mentioned. mentioned in our records requests. The group is holding regular meetings, according to email, of 12 people, including two from the FBI. Responding to a request for comment from the MIT Technology Review, FBI public affairs officer Cynthia Barrington said that the office’s activities extend to sharing information “through state aggregation centers and area”. Barrington also acknowledged the office’s involvement in preparing for protests stemming from trials other than Chauvin’s. “This was the case during the run-up to the state trial involving former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, as well as during the preparatory process for further court activities surrounding federal prosecutions.” and the state was publicly announced recently.”

The “Intel Team” by name is an email group of local, state, and federal agencies with law enforcement responsibilities within the OSN, says Gordon. “These agencies are involved in other event planning, and emails from the same group may have been used for other, unrelated planning efforts. All the agencies involved have ongoing responsibilities related to public safety that did not end when the OSN ended. ”

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

Munira Mohamed, a policy associate at Minnesota’s ACLU, said that the “porous nature” of law enforcement cooperation operations creates “all sorts of opportunities for loopholes and evades public scrutiny. and public scrutiny”. Mohamed said the ongoing nature of OSN operations is a “scary mission story” and that “this history of surveillance and law enforcement was once the infrastructure for something something is established, it will continue to happen, and it becomes a permanent infrastructure. ”

Although it is unclear to what extent the ongoing nature of the program was formal, many of the groups, activities, and communication structures that were applied to the OSN are still in effect today and are used to reflect respond to protest activities. A spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Police Department told MIT Technology Review in an email that the agency was “returning to normal operations in accordance with the OSN’s findings effective Friday, April 23.” Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department declined our request for comment.

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