Ramsey sheriff will pull plug on controversial databaseby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom said his department is pulling the plug on a controversial database that played a role in the Metro Gang Strike Force scandal two years ago.
The multi-agency unit was broken up in 2009, after allegations surfaced of misconduct by some of its officers. The allegations included improper seizures, theft of seized property and inappropriate investigative techniques.
The agencies that sent officers to the unit signed off on a $3 million civil settlement last year, but both state and federal authorities declined criminal prosecution.
One of the unit's investigative tools, a gang database called Gangnet, drew questions and fell into disuse by other police, Bostrom said
"There are probably other ways to keep track information that aren't controversial," Bostrom said, "Why don't we try those, instead of continuing to try to use Gangnet."
Ramsey County had started the database under Bostrom's predecessor, Sheriff Bob Fletcher. Bostrom said he's suggested the state find an appropriate successor to the data collection.