Minnesota AG Asked to Handle All Police-Involved Deaths
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's county attorneys want to give the state attorney general the authority to handle all cases of police-involved deaths in the future. The Association Board voted to transfer the power during an emergency meeting Thursday.
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall is not on the board right now.
Personally I'd just as soon hang on to my own cases, this is what we do, we're prosecutors, we know what we're doing. We're a big enough office to have the resources and the depth to do that. But, it's no secret that the small counties have often asked the AG to do it, what changed here is the metro asking the AG to do it.
Kendall says the way the system works now is any county can request the Attorney General to help prosecute a case like they are currently doing with the case in Hennepin county.
She says the AG's office is not staffed to handle it right now, so that will have to be addressed if this idea is approved by the state legislature.
State lawmakers would need to pass legislation to give the attorney general the ongoing authority, and Kendall believes it could be a high priority during a special session later this month.
Stearns County has only asked the attorney general for help once since Kendall has been in office.
We asked for them to step in on the Jason McLaughlin case at ROCORI because of what could be perceived as a conflict of interest because his dad was a Stearns County cop at the time.
Kendall says in the case of the stabbing incident at Crossroads where an off duty officer shot and killed the suspect she handled that case herself just fine.
The attorney general's office does do a lot of appeals for them right now at her request, and she says there is a potential they may not have the time to handle those cases moving forward.