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After George Floyd’s death, Minnesota lawmakers grapple with demands for more police reforms – Twin Cities

2021-04-04 19:19:34 –

On a hot afternoon in June last year, hundreds of demonstrators stuffed signs to lift the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol and called for George Floyd’s justice.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin fixed Floyd on the ground with his knees, and a few weeks after Floyd sought air, they shouted “Black Lives Matter” and held the police officer accountable. I asked lawmakers to pass the bill.

The chant was heard in a fenced parliament building and helped Minnesota spur more than a month of debate about changes that needed to be made to police training and disciplinary proceedings. ..

In July, a split state legislature passed a ban on strangler figs and so-called warrior training throughout the state, demanding that police intervene if they see other police officers using excessive force. did. Their compromise also required more officer training on de-escalation techniques, crisis intervention, and mental health, and introduced a mechanism for investigating death and sexual assault involving police. Democratic Governor Tim Walz signed the bill in July.

At that time, lawmakers declared the package legislation a success. Democrats and Republicans said there was still work to be done to make police accountable and to pass additional proposals aimed at preventing police racial prejudice.

But the Minnesotas, who lost their loved ones in violent police encounters and civil rights advocates, said the change wasn’t going well enough. And earlier this year, they advocated another series of reforms they said could have a meaningful impact on the disciplinary action of police officers who discriminate and act.

“These are a kind of half-step, toothless,” said Julia Decker, director of policy for the Associated State of Minnesota, about the changes passed last year. “These types of reforms address specific cases of police violence. They do not change the system.”

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies say COVID-19 has stagnated deployment and will need more time to implement the changes. They also warned of unintended consequences that could come into effect if lawmakers passed a new proposal.

So far, the bill has reached a wall, as Senate leaders have not yet submitted it to the Commission’s hearing. Its main gatekeeper of the Republican-controlled chamber of commerce said plans were likely to be postponed this year so that lawmakers could focus on budget passages.

Parliamentarians have returned from the Easter / Passover legislative adjournment for the final sprint of the 2021 legislative meeting, deciding whether to extend the deadline for requirements set to take effect this summer and officers. New requirements for banning white supremacist groups from joining should be considered, establishing more civil accountability panels and preventing limited immunity of officers.

2020 reforms begin

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Police Officer Standards and Training Commission banned warrior-style training and added new guidance to its training program requiring fellow police officers to intervene in the event of excessive force. Said it was incorporated. The POST Board is responsible for the education, licensing and training of more than 11,800 Minnesota police officers.

“I’m trying to disassemble and rebuild the car while driving on the freeway, as my needs have changed and I couldn’t change to meet it. It’s very difficult to do that. It’s difficult, “said POST President Kelly McCarthy.

The board also said it is working to conduct executive training to recognize autism and respond to mental health emergencies. Also, as required by law, a database for reporting executive misconduct is set to be operational by July 1.

According to law enforcement agencies, most agencies have already banned strangler figs, and police officers need to intervene if a colleague uses deadly force, so these changes can be made relatively easily. It’s done. However, some have faced obstacles due to COVID-19 concerns, such as new training in deescalation and the use of deadly forces.

Brian Peters, Executive Director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said last summer that proposals and other proposals were put together in a hurry, and police are currently working on how to apply them.

“They were trying to get something done so quickly that they were pushing for what we now recognize as a problem,” Peters said. “It’s frustrating because the legislature doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, even though people like county lawyers say there’s a problem here.”

According to Peters, his group and others have asked lawmakers to fine-tune new standards to give the department more time to train. As part of the law enforcement spending plan, Minnesota Senator sought to extend the deadline for requesting training, but the measure was not brought to a hearing in the House of Representatives.

Push for broader changes

Democratic lawmakers, led by members of the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus, have banned law enforcement officers from working with white supremacist organizations this year, creating a local civil surveillance group and watching body camera videos. I submitted a bill to make. A video of a family member killed by police within 48 hours, blocking the limited immunity of police officers.

The bill’s authors said they were dissatisfied with seeing Congress address the issue of accountability only after a serious deadly force issue had attracted public attention. And they said they wanted lawmakers to act more aggressively to implement policies that could prevent further deaths.

Congressman John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul ran for Congress after his friend Philland Castile was shot dead by police officers in St. Anthony in 2016. Thompson filed a law this year to publish unaltered bodycam footage of a fatal police encounter to the family of a person who died within the age of 48, exemption from the time of the incident and the outlaw status of police officers. Qualified immunity protects officers from civil proceedings dealing with obstruction of a person’s constitutional rights.

“Every year we are here, and we are here for one reason, and that’s a bad crackdown,” Thompson said last week. “Not all police officers say bad, but bad police officers make good police officers look very bad.”

A viral video of Floyd’s death under Chauvin’s knees has rekindled more community involvement in law enforcement, bill proponents said. And Congress should take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“We can’t have an officer like Derek Chauvin in our army,” President Michel Gross of the Community Union, who opposes police atrocities, told the House of Representatives. “Especially for groups of people who have the power to rob members of the lives of the community, those who have the power need to be checked and balanced.”

Law enforcement officials say the measure is quite expensive for local governments and can delay or interfere with ongoing investigations. They also warned that the bill could have unintended consequences and make it difficult to hire new officers.

“If the legislature wants to increase the accountability of its officers, it will help fix our broken arbitration process so that Supreme Law enforcement officers like me can better hold the accountability of bad officers. We need to, “said Jay Henson, Chief of the Richfield Police Department.

The Minnesota Police Department and the Police Officers Association’s Peters saw the proposal as “totally ridiculous,” and said his organization was working with members of the Senate to prevent the bill from passing through this session.

“Law enforcement agencies are trying to deal with situations that the government has been unable to resolve for decades,” said Peters, citing mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, and low-level education as examples. .. “And now we want to blame law enforcement officers when they make mistakes, rather than trying to solve those problems.”

So far, the legislative assembly has not proposed a committee hearing in the Senate. This shows that progress in the Senate is difficult. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Warren Rimmer, R-Maple Grove, was unable to respond to an interview prior to the publication of this article, but said reforms would lag behind this year’s budgetary issues. ..

Senate Republicans are concerned about measures passed last summer that were not properly implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state has extended the deadline to implement the requirements before adding police officer requirements. He said he needed to.

After George Floyd’s death, Minnesota lawmakers grapple with demands for more police reforms – Twin Cities Source link After George Floyd’s death, Minnesota lawmakers grapple with demands for more police reforms – Twin Cities

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