Minneapolis Police Department implements promising changes
Four new policies are a step in the right direction
St. Paul, Minn – Today, the Minneapolis Police Department along with the City of Minneapolis announced four new use-of-force policy changes aimed at improving officers’ actions and accountability.
The new policy changes include a focus on the sanctity of life, requirements for officers to both intervene and report if they witness officer misconduct and an emphasis on de-escalation of situations.
The following statement can be attributed to Charles Samuelson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is pleased that the Minneapolis Police Department is implementing these important policies. While they will not solve all of the problems within the Department, they will hopefully decrease the use of excessive force by police officers and increase accountability for their actions.
Valuing human life and prioritizing de-escalation could decrease negative and potentially fatal interactions with the public. We hope that all of the officers take these directives to heart and we begin to see a shift of officer behavior. We thank Chief Harteau and Mayor Hodges for their leadership on these important issues and we hope they continue pushing for more changes within the department.
We also hope this serves as a model for other police departments around the state. We would encourage all police departments to enact similar measures and would especially look to St. Paul to be the next police department to follow suit. The St. Paul Police Department has shot and killed more individuals than other department in the State in recent years.
The ACLU-MN is a non-profit that works to protect the constitutional rights of Minnesotans. In 2015 we released Picking Up the Pieces, a report that documented the huge racial disparities in the policing of low level arrests in Minneapolis. The report can be found here.
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