MN Governor, City of Minneapolis agree on changes to policing policies

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) – Today, Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero announced the next steps in the civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), following the death of George Floyd.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights filed an emergency court action and an agreed proposed court order that details immediate structural changes that the MPD must implement. The City of Minneapolis agreed to implement structural changes and joined the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in submitting the court order.

Under the proposed court order, the City of Minneapolis agrees to the following terms:
· Chokeholds are immediately banned;
· Police officers have a duty to report and intervene if another officer utilizes an unauthorized use of force;
· The use of crowd control weapons during protests and demonstrations may only be approved by the Chief of Police;
· Timely and transparent discipline decisions for police officers must be made; and
· Body camera footage may be audited by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.

“We are moving quickly to create substantive change,” said Governor Walz. “I’m grateful to City of Minneapolis leadership for taking these critical steps with us to address the systemic inequities that have persisted for generations in our criminal justice system.”

The proposed court order also requires the MPD to comply with the ongoing civil rights investigation by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Once the order is reviewed and approved by the Hennepin County District Court, the court will have the power to enforce these reforms and failure to comply could result in an action for contempt of court.

The civil rights investigation into MPD policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years remains ongoing. The investigation will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped.