Law enforcement officers could not use chokeholds or receive paid warrior-style training, and they’d have to intervene if another officer uses excessive force — among major provisions in a police reform bill the Minnesota Legislature passed Tuesday morning before adjourning its special session. Saint Paul Democrat Carlos Mariani said although it’s not the bill he wanted, “Let’s begin that process of healing Minnesota and observe the human rights and the human dignity that every Minnesotan possesses.”
Other measures in the bill: arbitration is handled differently if an officer appeals disciplinary action or termination… police departments cannot require officers live in the community, but can give them incentives… and there’s additional training for officers in mental health and autism crisis intervention.
Democratic Senator Patricia Torres Ray from Minneapolis voted “no” because she says the bill is not good enough. “I cannot go back to my community,… to the families, to the relatives, to the mothers of all the black men that have died in the hands of the police and tell them that this bill actually responds… to their calls for justice.”
D-F-L Senator Jeff Hayden from Minneapolis says the bill falls short in responding to people’s demands after the death of George Floyd. Hayden told his Senate colleagues, “It lacks the teeth, members, and it lacks the strong, robust policies that build the much-needed trust between the black community and law enforcement.” Hayden says there are no penalties for “bad actor” officers, or protections against retaliation for those who report them. He’s disappointed that police residency requirements don’t go further — and likewise, efforts to improve police-community relations.