Minnesota journalists want ketamine leak investigation stopped

“Whistleblowers perform a critical function in our democracy. They expose misconduct that might not otherwise be exposed.”

Edgar Linares
August 09, 2018 - 5:29 pm

By Edgar Linares

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A group of Minnesota journalist went office to office at Minneapolis City Hall delivering a petition to stop the city’s investigation into who leaked the ketamine draft report to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The coalition of press gathered on Thursday outside City Hall before entering the building.

“Public employees have a right to speak out on matters of public concern!” said Teresa Nelson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union. She accompanied the journalists.

The group delivered the petition with 285 signatures from mostly Minnesota journalists to the Mayor’s office, the City Clerk’s office and the City Council’s office.

It was last June, when the Start Tribune published the leaked draft report on MPD’s role in the ketamine scandal. It created a major outcry from community members and activists after reading some Minneapolis Police Officers asked EMTs to sedate people in police custody with the powerful drug ketamine, many without consent.

According to the Star Tribune, the City Clerk’s office hired St. Paul-based NeuVest to interview city employees and see exactly how far the data breach went. The assistant city clerk told the paper they’re required “by law” to do the investigation. The assistant city clerk also said they’re concerned the leak resulted in a private data breach, which could be a punishable misdemeanor.

“I think it does threaten free speech,” said Nelson. “Whistleblowers perform a critical function in our democracy. They expose misconduct that might not otherwise be exposed.”

The Minneapolis Mayor’s office said the city clerk reports to the city council. WCCO Radio also reached out to City Council President Lisa Bender and City Clerk Casey Carl for comment, we are waiting for a response.