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Court orders Minneapolis Police Department to implement immediate changes

According to a release from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the court has the power to enforce the preliminary measures listed in the court order.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

MINNEAPOLIS — The Hennepin County Court approved a proposed court order that requires the Minneapolis Police Department to make an immediate structural change in an effort to protect communities throughout Minneapolis.

According to a release from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR), the court has the power to enforce the preliminary measures listed in the court order, which was submitted by the MDHR, and failure to comply to the order could lead to penalties.

“Today’s court order will create immediate change for communities of color and Indigenous communities who have suffered generational pain and trauma as a result of systemic and institutional racism and long-standing problems in policing,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero in a press release.  

Under the court order entered by Hennepin County District Court Judge Karen Janisch, the City of Minneapolis must implement the following measures:

  • Ban the use of all neck restraints and chokeholds.
  • Any police officer, regardless of tenure or rank, must report while still on scene if they observe another police officer use any unauthorized use of force, including any chokehold or neck restraint.
  • Any police officer, regardless of tenure or rank, must intervene by verbal and physical means if they observe another police officer use any unauthorized use of force, including any choke hold or neck restraint.
  • Only the Police Chief or the Chief’s designee at the rank of Deputy Chief may approve the use of crowd control weapons, including chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, batons, and marking rounds, during protests and demonstrations.
  • The Police Chief must make timely and transparent discipline decisions for police officers as outlined in the order.
  • Civilian body worn camera footage analysts and investigators in the City’s Office of Police Conduct Review have the authority to proactively audit body worn camera footage and file or amend complaints on behalf of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department.

According to the court order, the Minneapolis Police Department is also required to fully cooperate with the ongoing civil rights investigation into the department, which was filed last week by the MDHR, in the wake of George Floyd's death.

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