Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I, Plaintiff: Blatantly unconstitutional 'false reporting' law passed MN legislature

by Rashard Zanders

It's true. Since 2005 MN statute 609.505 has been amended to criminalize "false" complaints of police brutality and misconduct.

What is the motivation behind this statute? Essentially, it is to intimidate people and the press from reporting police misconduct and brutality statewide. Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB), the Pulse's Lydia Howell, and myself have been joined by others as plaintiffs against this latest round of idiocy. Stay tuned for more.
The Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota describes 609.505 as follows:

Subdivision 1. False reporting. Whoever informs a law enforcement officer that a crime has
been committed or otherwise provides information to an on-duty peace officer, knowing that the
person is a peace officer, regarding the conduct of others, knowing that it is false and intending
that the officer shall act in reliance upon it, is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person who is convicted
a second or subsequent time under this section is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
Subd. 2. Reporting police misconduct. (a) Whoever informs, or causes information to
be communicated to, a peace officer, whose responsibilities include investigating or reporting
police misconduct, that a peace officer, as defined in section 626.84, subdivision 1, paragraph
(c), has committed an act of police misconduct, knowing that the information is false, is guilty
of a crime and may be sentenced as follows:
(1) up to the maximum provided for a misdemeanor if the false information does not allege a
criminal act; or
(2) up to the maximum provided for a gross misdemeanor if the false information alleges
a criminal act.
(b) The court shall order any person convicted of a violation of this subdivision to make
full restitution of all reasonable expenses incurred in the investigation of the false allegation
unless the court makes a specific written finding that restitution would be inappropriate under
the circumstances. A restitution award may not exceed $3,000.
History: 1963 c 753 art 1 s 609.505; 1971 c 23 s 52; 1993 c 326 art 4 s 26; 2005 c 136
art 17 s 30

Follow the link below if you would like to sign the petition for overturning MN statute 609.505.

See also:

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