Minneapolis today agreed to ban police stranglings and require officers to try to apprehend any other officers they see using inappropriate force, in concrete first steps to remake the city’s police department. since the death of George Floyd. The changes are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which released a civil rights investigation This week in response to Floyd’s death. The City Council approved agreement 12-0.
Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said the changes are necessary to stop continued harm to people of color “who have suffered generational pain and trauma as a result of systemic and institutional racism.”
“This is just a start,” Comm. Lucero said.
“There is much more work to be done here, and that work must and will be done quickly and with community participation.”
The settlement requires court approval and would be enforceable in court, unlike the department’s current policies on the use of force and the duties to intervene.
It would require officers to immediately report to their superiors when they see the use of any neck restraints or strangulation.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died after Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to his neck, ignoring Floyd’s screams “I can’t breathe,quot; and the screams of onlookers even after Floyd stopped moving. His death has sparked protests around the world.
Com. Lucero said the changes go beyond current department policies. Any officer who does not attempt to stop the misuse of force would face the same discipline as if they had used inappropriate force themselves.
The deal would also require authorization from the chief of police or a deputy chief to use crowd control weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, and explosive grenades.
Such tactics have been used in Minneapolis and other cities in the past week to disperse protesters.
The stipulation also establishes a process for the city and state to negotiate longer-term changes, such as changing state laws that make it difficult to fire troubled officers.
“This is a moment in time when we can totally change the way our police department operates,” Mayor Jacob Frey told the council.
“We can literally lead the way in our nation by enacting more police reforms than any other city in the entire country, and we cannot fail.”
“Those of you who protested peacefully over the past week changed the policy on strangulation in Minneapolis,” said Governor Tim Walz.
“This is what direct citizen participation looks like.”
In the meantime, a man who was with Floyd the night he died He told the New York Times that his friend did not resist arrest and instead tried to calm the situation before ending up handcuffed on the ground and begging for air.
Authorities say Hall, whose name is spelled Morries Lester Hall in court records, is a key witness in the state’s investigation of the four officers who arrested Floyd.
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