Governor Tim Walz says he hopes the police accountability measure passed early this morning by the state legislature is “only the beginning.” House Speaker Melissa Hortman agrees and says the bill paves the way for transformational change “but it doesn’t bring about transformational change. I think that there’s a message that is being sent that something has to change and it has to change radically, the standards that we expect from our police and peace officers is very clear to value human life in all interactions, but I think it was important to tell people that their voices were heard.” It’s a sentiment House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler echoes. He says “the murder of George Floyd and the civil unrest that followed is really the tip of the iceberg of inequality and inequity in Minnesota and as long as those deep inequities in health, education, income, policing continue to exist, we are going to continue to live in a powder keg.” The bill passed this morning bans police use chokeholds and paid warrior-style training and would offer incentives aimed at hiring officers who live within the communities they serve. The bill also calls for additional training for officers in mental health and autism crisis intervention.
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