Updated: August 26, 2020 07:47 PM
Created: August 26, 2020 11:39 AM
Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced an overhaul of the Minneapolis Police Department's use-of-force policy.
Frey said the goal of the overhaul is to limit the use of force or deadly force only to circumstances when it keeps people safe.
"Deadly force is sometimes necessary but it is always tragic," the mayor said.
With the change in policy, officers will have to consider all reasonable alternatives before resorting to deadly force. Officers will also be required to use the lowest level possible.
The overhaul also broadens how the city defines use of force, which includes actions like unholstering or displaying a weapon. Types of resistance are also differentiated in the policy.
The new policy will require officers to document and justify their actions when using force. The department will be able to take action against an officer if it finds force isn't justified.
Lastly, officers will be prohibited from shooting at moving vehicles, unless they are protecting bystanders or other officers.
Arradondo says the new changes will keep officers and the public safe while strengthening the department's values.
"I do believe that this will better help build the trust that our community is looking for," he said.
Later Wednesday, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis issued the following statement on the update from city leaders:
"Rank and file officers, who the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis represents, heard about this critical new policy just now through the media, as the administration has not yet discussed changes with the officers. We are working to review what this all entails, but believe it is careless to announce changes to a critical policy to the media before releasing the policy to officers – and training them – to implement the changes. This is another example of how the lack of training and poor political leadership hurts officers and the public.
We need to be focused on ending the extreme, escalated violence in our city. Homicides, shootings, and other types of crime are at unprecedented levels. Six people were shot over the weekend, and a 17-year-old girl was murdered. We need to be focusing on deterring criminals, and assisting and protecting victims of crime for a safer city for everyone."
Steve Fletcher, the Minneapolis City Council Ward 3 representative, told KSTP, "It’s a good policy. I support the change the mayor and chief made today. If it’s successfully taught, enforced, and integrated into the culture of the department, it will be an improvement. That is, of course, easier said than done."
You can watch Wednesday's full press conference below.
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