Minneapolis bans police chokeholds, Mayor Frey signs temporary restraining order, MPD chief vows 'substantive policy changes'

Associated Press
Updated: June 05, 2020 05:30 PM
Created: June 05, 2020 12:25 PM

Negotiators for the city of Minneapolis have agreed with the state to ban the use of chokeholds by police and to require police to report and intervene anytime they see unauthorized use of force by another officer.

The moves are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. The City Council approved the agreement Friday.


The agreement, which will be enforceable in court, would require any officer, regardless of tenure or rank, to immediately report the use of any neck restraint or chokehold from the scene to their commander or their commander's superiors.

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Similarly, any officer who sees another officer commit any unauthorized use of force, including any chokehold or neck restraint, must try to intervene verbally and even physically. If they don't, they'd be subject to discipline as severe as if they themselves had used the prohibited force.

The agreement also requires authorization from the police chief or a designated deputy chief to use crowd control weapons, including chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, batons, and marking rounds. And it requires more timely decisions on disciplining officers.

Also Friday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey signed a temporary restraining order with the state of Minnesota, which outlines several immediate police policy reforms while setting the stage for state action on deep structural reforms. Frey has directed the changes to be made immediately.

"George Floyd's service yesterday underscored that justice for George requires more than accountability for the man who killed him – it requires accountability from elected leadership to deep, structural reforms," said Frey. "Today's agreement with the state will help bring those layers of accountability. This unprecedented energy and momentum for police reform has left Minneapolis poised not just to address our shortcomings, but to become a model for shifting police culture and uprooting systemic racism."

In the coming days, Frey will work in collaboration with the City Council to identify further city policy reforms and specific changes to state law to improve police accountability and address systemic racism. This will accompany a renewed push to changes in the police union contract as the city negotiates a new agreement. A release from the City of Minneapolis adds on or before July 30, the city will provide a list to the state outlining laws that impede the ability to implement reforms. 

Minnesotans with information that can further the investigation into the MPD should contact the Department of Human Rights or call 651-539-1100.

Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo released the following statement Friday afternoon:

"I appreciate the work by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and Commissioner Lucero's leadership.  I will continue to work on efforts to improve public trust, public safety and transformational culture change of the MPD.
"I will be bringing forth substantive policy changes."

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