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Minnesota lawmakers to discuss police reform during new special session

KSTP
Updated: July 14, 2020 06:52 AM
Created: July 14, 2020 06:02 AM

Police reform is just one of the issues House lawmakers are preparing to dive into Tuesday during the new special session. 

Tuesday's discussions include topics both House and Senate lawmakers say they can get behind, including creating a system that holds officers more accountable for their actions, especially when it comes to excessive force.

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"I don't think that failure is an option on police reform and accountability," House Speaker Melissa Hortman said. "When we all watched the video of George Floyd's last minutes of life, something changed in us and in Minnesota that can't be put right without taking action—we must take action." 

Other items include creating a citizen oversight commission and police-community relations council. 

Both the DFL-led House and GOP-led Senate agree on banning chokeholds, creating a system that requires officers to step in if they see another getting too violent, and better training to handle mental health issues among members of law enforcement. 

This will also include more conversations with leadership to make sure when they're ready, these bills make it to Gov. Tim Walz's desk.

"A number of things that we've been working on, it's always the tough part is getting the details in the language, but it does feel like there's progress there," Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. "So those are some of the key areas that we're working on." 

The House committee meeting starts the process of taking up these issues at 8 a.m.

Final votes are expected after the weekend and as early as Monday.


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