Hotline opens for claims against Metro Gang Strike Force
Do you believe you had property or cash improperly seized through the work of the Metro Gang Strike Force?
Individuals who seek to make a claim against the Metro Gang Strike Force for improper seizure of cash and property can call a phone hotline handled by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.“I think this process is important for those who felt that they have been wronged by those who are in position authority,” said Lee Pao Xiong, Director of the Center for Hmong Studies at Concordia University in St. Paul. “Perhaps the gesture will bring back trust that have eroded over the years between Communities of Color and our law enforcement community.”
The hotline, which can be reached by calling 651-209-2673, is available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali languages.
The hotline is for people – including minors – who feel that members of the Metro Gang Strike Force improperly seized cash or property from them. Individuals who choose to use the hotline will not be asked to waive any legal rights and will retain their rights to seek other legal remedies.
Hotline callers will be asked to provide their name and contact information so that LMCIT can send a simple claims form and self-addressed, stamped return envelope to callers. The claims form – available in the four languages – asks for information about the property allegedly seized by MGSF, including the date and description of the interaction with MGSF and for any available witness information.
Once LMCIT receives the form back, staff will seek to match the form with MGSF reports and files. If no reports or files exist to support claims information, staff may conduct an investigation.
The claims process is meant to provide an easy way for claimants to be compensated for improper property forfeitures by MGSF. The process is voluntary and open. Nobody will be asked to sign a waiver of their rights. That means all claimants will retain their rights to seek further actions throughout this process, whether they choose to accept a settlement or not.
Claimants can accept a property settlement and still pursue any other actions they choose. For example, if a claimant is unhappy with a proposed settlement offer from LMCIT at any time in the process, the individual can appeal the claim to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a non-binding decision from an Administrative Law Judge. If the claimant is unhappy with the ALJ decision, the claimant still has the right to pursue other legal actions.
LMCIT was established during 1980 by Minnesota cities as a member-owned risk pool at a time when private insurance carriers offered limited coverage at high prices. LMCIT delivers Workers’ Compensation and Property/Casualty coverages that meet current and emerging needs of Minnesota cities, and partners with members on loss control services and programs.