On the final day of special session, the Minnesota Senate passed a package of police reforms.
During the previous special session, the Senate passed five police reform bills, which included a ban on chokeholds, a required duty to intervene, reporting the use of excessive force by a fellow police officer, and required consideration of the sanctity of life before using force. The Senate also added community members to the POST board (Police Officer Standards and Training) and required the POST Board to create a uniform use of force policy for the state’s law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the Senate previously included more training on crisis response and flexibility to seek help from a variety of resources.
“The last few months have been challenging for communities across Minnesota as we have grappled with the death of George Floyd and the heavy scrutiny Minnesota’s law enforcement officers have had to face,” said Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona). “The reforms included in this bill are the result of bipartisan compromise and were achieved without undervaluing the important role that law enforcement plays in our state. As a result of this legislation, our police officers should feel empowered and trusted to protect Minnesotans responsibly with additional training and resources, a new emphasis on community engagement, and a focus on improving our state’s justice system. Finally, the bill includes important arbitration reforms to help get bad cops out of the profession so the good cops can focus on serving and protecting our communities.”
The final bill starts with 10 of the 11 provisions initially supported by the Senate during the previous session, and adds five additional reforms to policing in Minnesota:
- Ban the use of “warrior” style training
- POST Board membership changes to create the Ensuring Police Excellence and Improving Community Relations Advisory Council; adds a member from the public to the POST board Complaint Investigation Committee
- Create a POST board database of public, anonymized peace officer data
- Authorizes local municipalities to provide residency incentives for peace officers to live in the communities they serve
- Establishes an independent investigatory unit in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension