Last year, as crowds attacked a Minneapolis police precinct in response to George Floyd’s death, officers at another precinct five miles away decided the best response would be to destroy case files. A public defender now says it has jeopardized her client’s case. Elizabeth Karp filed a motion alleging officers at the Second Precinct destroyed critical evidence in the case against Walter Power, 36, who was charged with a felony for selling drugs. The evidence against him was obtained through search warrants and cellphone data—all of which has now been destroyed or lost. Karp asked for the case to be dismissed, along with an order prohibiting officers from discarding more evidence. The precinct’s officers said they destroyed the files after seeing the Third Precinct being set alight, worrying that the files could put confidential informants at risk if they fell into the wrong hands.
A spokesperson for the department told the Minneapolis Star Tribune they’re investigating the incident.