Report: White Minnesotans involved in more use-of-force incidents in 2019 than any other race

The majority of officer-involved shootings occurred in Greater Minnesota.

Koshu Kunii / Unsplash

White Minnesotans were involved in more use-of-force incidents than any other race in 2019, according to a report from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

The BCA, a subdivision of the Department of Public Safety, released its annual Uniform Crime Report Monday. Unlike previous years, this year’s report includes specific data on use-of-force incidents across the state.

Local law enforcement agencies were asked to voluntarily provide specific information about use-of-force incidents for inclusion in a national database established by the FBI in 2018. 2019 was the first full year of data collection.

According to the BCA, the data it received for 2019 represents 76.3% of all Minnesota law enforcement officers, compared to the 40.4% national total.

Participating agencies reported 37 use-of-force incidents resulting in 11 deaths, seven gunshot wounds, and two serious injuries requiring medical attention. Another 11 incidents resulted in the subject going unconscious and six resulted in no injuries.

Of the 37 incidents, 16 involved white subjects, 13 involved black subjects, three involved Native Americans, and two involved Asian Americans. The race was listed as unknown for two of the incidents and one is still pending investigation.

The report states that 30 individuals were fired at in firearms-discharge incidents, including 11 who were killed and eight who were wounded. It also notes that the majority of officer-involved shootings occurred in Greater Minnesota.

No law enforcement fatalities were reported in 2019, but a total of 467 officers were assaulted.

Additionally, Minnesota recorded a 4.7% increase in violent crimes in 2019 and a 5.2% increase in property crimes. The murder rate increased from 104 in 2018 to 117 in 2019 while aggravated assaults jumped from 6,693 to 6,742. Both rapes and sex trafficking incidents decreased in 2019, but the state reported 10 cases of involuntary servitude – a crime that wasn’t reported even once between 2015 and 2018.

Minnesota experienced 146 bias crimes in 2019, an increase of 19 over 2018. Forty-nine of the cases “were directed at Black or African Americans, more than three times the next most frequent group,” said the report.

“The best way to respond to the increasing rate of crime in Minnesota is for police and the communities they serve to work together,” Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said in a press release. “21st century policing methods will help us work to prevent crime and keep the peace in our One Minnesota.”