Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Community Voices features opinion pieces from a wide variety of authors and perspectives. (Submission Guidelines)

Break the cycle: Five changes in Minnesota policing that can be enacted right now

Police officers throwing canisters
REUTERS/Eric Miller
Minneapolis police officers throwing canisters to break up protesters on Wednesday night.

Trauma, anger and pain have boiled over in Minneapolis since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. As the only state where police officers are required to have a college degree, we have the most educated police force in the nation. Yet we are continually making national headlines for officers killing unarmed citizens. Each incident seems to follow a now-familiar cycle that includes pain, outrage, demands for change, and what seems a conciliatory attempt to improve officer training, police-community relations, or both.

As professors of criminal justice, we focus our teaching and research on the social inequalities and structural mechanisms deeply rooted in the criminal justice system. Changes are needed in policing in Minnesota. Below, we recommend several changes that follow existing research. These policy changes are only a beginning. They do not address the longstanding systemic racism in the Twin Cities, where we have some of the worst racial disparities in the country. They do not address the recruitment problem in Minnesota policing, where there is a desperate shortage of officers of color policing in communities where they live. They do not address the toxic culture within some Minnesota police departments, or the need to address officer mental health. They will not rebuild the trust between the MPD and the community, which is likely irrevocably damaged.

These changes are a start. They have little cost. And they can be enacted right now.

  1. Use independent prosecutors

Gina Erickson
Gina Erickson
The 21st Century Task Force on Policing recommends policies to mandate the use of an external and independent prosecutor in cases of officer-involved shootings. Research shows that county attorneys may be biased toward cases involving police officers in their own jurisdiction, where they have longstanding relationships with police departments before, during, and after a criminal trial. On Sunday evening, under pressure from the ACLU and public campaigns to remove Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman from the case, Gov. Tim Walz announced that Attorney General Keith Ellison would prosecute George Floyd’s death. This move is a first step toward transparency and legitimacy, but the 21st-century report encourages policies that mandate the use of independent and external investigations and prosecutors for officer-involved shootings, use of deadly force, and in-custody deaths, not just when pressure from the public demands it. In order to rebuild trust, Minnesota must make statutory changes to mandate the use of independent and external prosecutors in cases involving officer-involved and in-custody deaths.

  1. Evaluate officer training in Minnesota

Sarah Greenman
Sarah Greenman
Following Philando Castile’s death in 2016, the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton dedicated $12 million in training funds for police officers, specifically dedicated to “crisis intervention and mental illness crises, conflict management and mediation, and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences to include implicit bias training.” Our faculty worked extensively with the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board to write the learning objectives for this new legislatively mandated training and the board was tasked with tracking agency compliance with this new training mandate.

To our knowledge, there has been no evaluation of this new in-service training mandate over the past two years. Our sense is that few departments have used the millions of dollars of funding that the Legislature provided for training, and the training that is taking place is primarily provided by retired law enforcement officers as opposed to experts in conflict management, mental illness, and cultural diversity. For training funds to make a difference, their impact must be independently evaluated.

  1. Establish a Critical Incident Review Board

Jillian Peterson
Jillian Peterson
Law enforcement agencies need to establish a Critical Incident Review Board consisting of both officers and community members to review cases involving officer-involved shootings and other serious use-of-force incidents that have the potential to damage community trust. Officer Chauvin’s previous use of force incidents should have been reviewed by a board that includes citizens, separate from criminal and administrative investigations. This is being done in other cities, to increase transparency and accountability. Domestic Fatality Review teams can be used as a model.

  1. Re-examine the Minnesota POST Board

The Minnesota legislature created The POST Board in 1967 to establish law enforcement licensing and training requirements, and set standards for law enforcement agencies and officers. As the Star Tribune showed in 2017, over the past two decades, hundreds of Minnesota law enforcement officers have been convicted of criminal offenses. However, most were never disciplined by the state because the POST Board has little authority. In the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin, one of the officers is “worried about excited delirium or whatever.” Excited Delirium is not recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, or the World Health Organization as a legitimate diagnosis. Yet it continues to be a POST learning objective required to be taught to all future Minnesota officers. Currently, 10 of the 15 seats on the Minnesota POST Board are held by law enforcement. It needs to be restructured, and independently evaluated.

  1. Change the use-of-force statute in Minnesota

Shelly Schaefer
Shelly Schaefer
Minnesota statute 609.066 outlines three conditions under which the use of deadly force by an officer is justified: to protect the officer or another person from death or great bodily harm, to capture someone who the officer believes has committed or attempted a felony involving or threatening deadly force, and to capture someone the officer believes will cause death or great bodily harm if the apprehension is delayed. In practice, the law boils down to a “subjective” perception about whether an individual officer felt threatened. If an officer “feels” threatened, regardless of whether or not they are, deadly force is justified. The wording of the law gives officers wide discretion and makes it difficult to prosecute and charge officers. It’s time to revise the law.

These recommendations are consistent with the recommendations of the Minnesota Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters and the 21st Century Task Force on Policing. We are calling on Minnesota to use these recommendations to help break this cycle. We must make meaningful evidence-based change that is continuously independently evaluated.

Gina Erickson, Sarah Greenman, Jillian Peterson, and Shelly Schaefer are associate professors of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University.


If you’re interested in joining the discussion, add your voice to the Comment section below — or consider writing a letter or a longer-form Community Voices commentary. (For more information about Community Voices, see our Submission Guidelines.)

Comments (42)

  1. Submitted by Ken Boyd on 06/02/2020 - 09:48 am.

    This is a hard and confusing time in the Twin Cities and nationally. It’s easy to play armchair quarterback from our distant comfortable homes. (I actually loathe sports analogies). Most of us haven’t had to suffer such serious injustice. We have difficulty relating to the personal and emotional damage done by that level of injustice that leads to unimaginable anger. Can a major national protest about a hugely volitile and emotional issue ever go the way we want it to? Doubtfully. Do some boneheads take advatage? Unfortunately, a few. Do we have to like it, be comfortable with it or agree with it? You get to make that choice. Police are making mistakes. Protesters are making mistakes. Politicians are saying dumb things. A lot of misinformation is being shared. And the media is sensationalizing it as usual. These are not bad people, but people, like all of us, who still have a way to go before they are perfect. We need an extra dose of compassion. We need to love all people, including the ones we think aren’t doing the right things. And we need to try, first, to understand rather than let our first reaction be condemnation for the people and process, especially when it’s ugly and messy and violent. Okay, I am very conservative. Some would equate that with racist, gun toting, privalege. Not so fast, I support the people of color in Minneapolis who have tried to use the law and peaceful approaches. They are tired of being ignored only to be abused and forgotten again. Are they mad? Yes, and rightly so. Violence is always unfortunate. But the pressure has built to the pont of eruption. Playing nice is getting them nowhere. We Americans have justified and fought many battles in the name of freedom and justice. If it takes a battle to bring about change, so be it. I hope people and our government can wake up before that is necessary. I hope it doesn’t come to that. #RacismStillExists

  2. Submitted by Brian Simon on 06/02/2020 - 10:28 am.

    Those all sound like positive changes. I’m a bit surprised, though, that none address what looks to me like ingrained racism and violence in MPD culture. This is a decades old problem that has to be solved to achieve any real change.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/02/2020 - 11:52 am.


      Union leader Bob Kroll was re-elected without opposition this year. RT Rybak says he is a cancer on the MPD, Janee Harteau agrees 100% and says he needs to turn in his badge immediately. Current Mayor and Chief want to say the same thing, but hesitate to do so.

      If the MPD rank and file want what Bob Kroll is selling, none of the solutions presented here will solve the problem: only provide the “image of doing something” until the next time it happens and it will. Band aid suggestions like these do more harm than good: “gee, we thought better training would fix the problem”.

      Make it clear to the rank and file: if Kroll stays your jobs are all in jeopardy. If there are no reasonable leaders in the MPD willing to step forward and vocally admit a problem and call for change, starting over is the only real path. Fire them all and rehire the good ones….

      • Submitted by Brian Simon on 06/02/2020 - 05:21 pm.

        Bob Kroll never met a conflict he couldn’t escalate.

        But in the interests of productive dialogue, this vox piece is thought provoking:

        There are no easy answers. And while it’s easy to point at MPD, like I did, it is much harder to acknowlede that I have been quite complacent and priveleged in the status quo. It’s been obvious for a very long time that our society & criminal justice systems are grossly inequitable. Why does it take a videoed murder to make us demand change?

        Worse, still, how long before we revert to form, and accept it is for what it is?

        I’m tired. My freinds, neighbors, and coworkers are tired. We’re all pretty white. And I think we’re just starting to get the slightest inkling of what daily life is like for people who aren’t.

      • Submitted by Susan Maricle on 06/04/2020 - 10:21 am.

        I wonder how many of Kroll’s supporters also grouse about corrupt unions. Unions are okay as long as your own ox isn’t being gored.

    • Submitted by john herbert on 06/04/2020 - 03:55 pm.

      As noted, that will be the hardest fix and it has to come from within. I suspect Mr. Kroll is enjoying his time in the spotlight and may angling for a job in the next Trump Administration. How to fix culture – sorta like teaching ethics, I remember my dad asking me, how the heck do you TEACH ethics to adults!

  3. Submitted by Ross Sussman on 06/02/2020 - 11:14 am.

    Remember two things . . .
    #1 – “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”
    #2 – “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/02/2020 - 11:25 am.

    I’m inclined toward Brian Simon’s response. They all sound like reasonable, positive changes. They also skirt the central question (in the Floyd case and others) of MPD culture. Strictly from the standpoint of a Minneapolis resident, I’d argue that one more item deserves to be on the list: police officers in both Minneapolis and St. Paul should be residents of the cities they serve. When I was teaching in a similarly urban area, I often felt the same way about my fellow teachers – they should be residents of the community they serve.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/02/2020 - 12:02 pm.

      “Strictly from the standpoint of a Minneapolis resident, I’d argue that one more item deserves to be on the list: police officers in both Minneapolis and St. Paul should be residents of the cities they serve”

      Very true: About 95% of the MPD live outside of the city limits. If we just look at population: .425m in Mpls and 3.8m in the metro area we should see 2.5 times more city residents among the MPD. The majority have contempt for the residents of the city they serve and avoid interaction beyond driving in, pulling a shift and then getting out.

      • Submitted by John Hoefs on 06/02/2020 - 01:03 pm.

        If memory serves me properly, I think that St. Paul had the residential requirement more recently than Minneapolis. However, I believe it was challenged and the plaintiff won or it was changed because it limited an effective recruitment of interested and qualified candidates. Maybe someone else knows for certain what happened.

        I like the 5 recommendations but there must be more. I plan to read the whole report.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/02/2020 - 01:14 pm.

          I had a conversation with a friend who serves on a suburban force. He did not agree on residency requirements and pointed to the limitations it would cause in recruiting. Probably true, but the decision should really be made by the folks being policed: do you want local cops who grew up and live in your neighborhood or possibly more qualified candidates who will choose to not participate in the neighborhood beyond an 8 hour shift.

          I think the former wins in a landslide.

          If strict residency requirements are illegal, offer significant incentives to encourage it.

          • Submitted by Suzanne J on 06/02/2020 - 02:16 pm.

            Exactly! Incentives would be much better than requirements. The most common argument used against residency has been, I believe, that public employees cannot afford to live in Minneapolis. We know that affordability is a huge issue. So many in our state need incentives and support to have affordable housing, access to good food and health care, and dignity.

            When I was a public employee in the early 1960s, we were required to live in the city. i already did, so it was not an issue for me, but I can honestly not recall any complaining. Then came the “white flight” in the fear of integration and the resulting suburban sprawl. So it is not always about affordability. Is the argument for recruitment perhaps a veiled cover for hiring people who do not see urban neighbors as full human beings?

            Let’s keep offering solutions in addition to our laments!

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/03/2020 - 12:32 pm.

          Both Minneapolis and St. Paul had residency requirements from 1993 until 1999. The bill to ban such requirements was introduced by then-Rep. Rich Stanek. It was signed by Governor Ventura in March of ’99.

    • Submitted by lisa miller on 06/02/2020 - 06:34 pm.

      Except they use to have residency requirements and I don’t think it did much. These are all necessary steps. However look back 10 years, wasn’t this all discussed in the past MPD federal mediation? They had oversight by the Department of Justice and were threatened with receivership. And how is it the city council and mayor didn’t do more about the policies that allow a neck hold? Arradondo can only do so much; the public safety committee signs off on things. Also with any civilian oversight committee–I would think a key would be having sane people who have done the job but also have integrity–we need more John Harringtons on any civilian reviews.

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/02/2020 - 11:37 am.

    I’m sorry but after decades of studying this, I expect far more detailed recommendations than this. We’ve been admiring this problem for long enough, don’t you guy have some more concrete recommendations? Is Ellison the kind of independent investigator you’re recommending?

    • Submitted by Mark Ohm on 06/02/2020 - 04:12 pm.

      Re-read the intro paragraphs: “These changes are a start. They have little cost. And they can be enacted right now.” and ” Below, we recommend several changes that follow existing research. These policy changes are only a beginning. “

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/03/2020 - 10:45 am.

        Re-read my comment… why are “starting”? This crises has been ongoing for decades and all we have is a “start”? Why are we pretending that no one anywhere has actually proposed concrete solutions and policy changes? Why are we inviting conversation instead of enacting solutions?

        • Submitted by john herbert on 06/04/2020 - 04:00 pm.

          Because solutions are hard, they require all stakeholders to give back a portion of their stake and the vast majority of Minnesotans will never have an encounter with MPD or STPD so it is somebody eases problem. for example, do unions really break ranks around arbitration? Does the GOP want to offend the 46%, most of whom live outside of MPLS and St. Paul – I agree that we are decades past starting but this issue requires a team, not an individual to affect real change.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/05/2020 - 11:33 am.

            “Because solutions are hard, they require all stakeholders to give back a portion of their stake…”

            Thank you John… you do realize that this has been the “explanation” for ongoing oppression and racism for DECADES right? Yeah, it’s hard… but it been ongoing for decades and just some people around only woke up to the issue last week doesn’t mean no one else has been working the problem. We’re not BEGGINING this discussion, if your serious about change you need to recognize THAT fact and look at the solutions… not merely agree to begin a conversation.

            • Submitted by john herbert on 06/07/2020 - 01:05 pm.

              Paul, you asked “why are we inviting conversation…” and I answered that implementing solutions are much harder then talking about them, sorta like me getting into better physical shape. I noted in a separate comment that turning the POST BD into a non-police dominated actual licensing entity with real power to enact progressive licensing requirements and the ability to a pull a license could be one of the many reforms that would be appropriate. Who is going to lead that charge, knowing that the Police Unions and the GOP will howl in opposition.

              • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/08/2020 - 11:08 am.

                John, perhaps I failed to express the complexity of my question. When I ask: “why are we inviting discussion…” I wasn’t merely asking a question, I was making a statement- the point being that this conversation needs no invitation because it’s been ongoing for decades. People who are just becoming aware of this issue should be aware of that fact and look at the solutions already on the table. This is no time for dilettantes to dabble in “leadership” as if they’re only or the first ones to realize that: “this is hard”. That’s kind of a “duh” that was recognized over 100 years ago.

  6. Submitted by Richard Owens on 06/02/2020 - 11:50 am.

    Excellent and timely. Thank you to the authors.

    Hiring people of good character is the start of an effective law enforcement effort. After that, it is how they are trained and prepared to serve the public under stressful and sometimes dangerous conditions.

    #2: Officer Training.

    Vox article “Police academies spend 110 hours on firearms and self-defense. They spend 8 hours on conflict management.”

    The Second Amendment “wedge issue” is still being pushed by the Republican politicians and donors, long after the Constitution was written to allow a civil defense with citizens carrying muskets.

    Its purpose is an additional weapon of intimidation and outright armed assault on Black people. Cops promote and live in a gun culture with a long history of enforcing the law with violence and the threat of death.

    A lot of good it did for Philando Castille to have a concealed carry permit.
    I think it was the excuse to shoot him.

    As an aside, I am of the opinion that armed conflict never solves anything and merely brings forth new and more complex issues. You can’t un-fire a weapon or restore lives and relationships with force.

    “A man coerced against his will
    is of the same opinion still.”

  7. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 06/02/2020 - 01:09 pm.

    Let me add one. Make take police forces reflect the diverse population they serve.

    First, lay off all racist white make police officers through a careful review process, particularly those who are too old to change.

    Second, make half of your police women, with the idea of mixed teams. Would the death have happened with of the four officers women? I question it.

    Third, make sure that the police are as diverse as the population. I particularly think adding older no nonsense minority moms would help dealing with trash talking young men – having verbal skills plus the classic evil eye would back down those with false bravado.

    Fourth, use the skills of different cultures. An AIM patrol talked down some young white Wisconsin trouble makers by making them call their moms to pick them up – saving them from a record. Brilliant approach, unlikely to come from a macho white man.

    Fifth, recruit officers who show empathy, listening skills and an ability to break tension by use of humor. People do stupid things. Hire police who want to keep people out of trouble. This happened with actual arrests at Bobby and Steve’s World when police charmed protesters through the arrest process.

    This is all about relationships. Respectful relationships calm the waters. If police dehumanize those they are trying to protect, how does that work? Knowing the community happens if police are drawn from the community.

    I think new officers should be required to live in the city they serve for at least five years before they are free to live where they want. Growing up in Minneapolis or going to school counts. Lifetime suburban or rural people simply need to have everyday experience in the community without a uniform on to know what they are doing.

    To the women professors, who made good points, remember that abstract ideas need to result in ideas as specific and practical as these.

  8. Submitted by Robert Lilly on 06/02/2020 - 01:21 pm.

    Police unions seem to be the biggest obstacle to holding the police accountable when they break the law. Is there anyway to disband them?
    The MPD’s unwavering support for Kroll speaks volumes about who they are, unaccountable thugs who blame everyone else for their misconduct.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 06/02/2020 - 06:50 pm.

      One week after George Floyd’s murder (as charged) we have yet to see a single MPD rank and file member stand up and tell us how ashamed he/she is of the behavior of fellow officers and agree it is time for major changes beginning with MPD members taking responsibility.

      Short of this, all of the proposed solutions are worthless: if they are incapable of taking responsibility they are incapable of meaningful change.

      Bob Kroll tells us the problem is that we are 400 officers (AKA dues payers) short of what is needed, the cops need more freedom to do as they please and everyone who tries to hold them accountable is incompetent.

      Fire them all, rehire the ones who deserve it,

  9. Submitted by John Hoefs on 06/02/2020 - 01:55 pm.

    Perhaps we need to rework the job of policing by precinct. Develop a first wave of unarmed “light blue” community officers (majority) that live and work their communities with door to door visits, resource options, strong communications, mediation skills. A “royal” blue group (25%) that is armed but only responds when called upon by “light blue” when necessary to arrest or provide an option. A third “navy” blue group (25%) is heavily armed like SWAT and special forces. I think we must change our approach to policing.

  10. Submitted by Robert Ryan on 06/02/2020 - 03:06 pm.

    Another area of reform: The state should enact a law giving Chiefs of Police the final say in discipline, not an arbitrator. There are many bad cops still on the force who were fired and then reinstated through the arbitration process.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/03/2020 - 01:21 pm.

      A St. Paul cop was fired and later convicted for kicking a man on the ground while a police dog was biting the man. The man (who was black, and also the wrong guy) got $2 million from the City.

      An arbitrator gave him his job back.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/03/2020 - 08:28 pm.

        I’ve long wondered how those arbitrators have been in the back pockets of the police for so long. I get it with corporations that require consumers the go to binding arbitration instead of the courts; the corporations set the rules and the arbitrators involved know they will not be asked back if they rule for the consumer.

        I’d like to see someone in the media do a deep dive on this.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/04/2020 - 04:26 pm.

          I would like to see that too. Too many bad cops get their jobs back.

          I also agree with your general point on arbitration and as an attorney, I tell clients to avoid arbitration agreements if at all possible. Arbitration can work if everyone agrees to it on equal footing, but mandatory arbitration is garbage.

  11. Submitted by Constance Sullivan on 06/02/2020 - 04:13 pm.

    You know what’s great about this list of specific initial reform steps we could make to minimize our police problems? It’s all absolutely doable and should not take a long time The public can digest it, and the recommendations are logical.

    All by women incidentally (probably most of them mothers, who are used to conflict resolution processes!)

    On residency: We should use incentives, rather than demand Minneapolis residency–after all, our schools have lost their shine and no one should be forced to put their kids in bad schools. Pay those who are willing to reside in the city more than others. As policy.

    On the union: Does everyone understand that, since December 2019, there is no union contract with the city and cops? A moment with potnetial!

    The union is the main problem, and we should address it. Perhaps, but just letting the contract lapse and go to procedures and standards that the Chief and Mayor want, and see how many of our cops resign. That would leave slots for new cops to be hired.

    Changing state laws should be next. But this list is a great, practical start! thanks, ladies.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/03/2020 - 10:56 am.

      No existing contract, that’s an interesting point. Does anyone know what that means? Is the old contract in force in the interim, or is the whole thing just defunct?

      Kroll has always been a disaster, he’s doesn’t represent the membership, he’s an Republican activist. I doubt he’ll resign unless the membership call him out, but with any luck someone will step up and challenge him in the next election.

  12. Submitted by andrea leiva on 06/02/2020 - 11:27 pm.

    Explicitly putting these issues in the hands of white women is a small step forward from taking some decision out of the hands from white men. C’mon!!! That’s the problem in Minnesota. The MN paradox.

  13. Submitted by Jeffrey Swainhart on 06/03/2020 - 06:19 am.

    There will be no reform as long as Bob Kroll wears the uniform.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/03/2020 - 12:35 pm.

      Bob Kroll is a symptom of the problem. Whenever I see a Minneapolis Police officer, I remember that he or she wanted Kroll to represent them.

      That speaks volumes.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 06/03/2020 - 12:37 pm.

      It’s pretty clear Boss Kroll’s removal is a necessary (but not sufficient) component of reform. The awful Kroll is a symptom of dysfunction, not the root cause. Just as Trump did not cause the degeneration of the Repub party and its supporters, he is merely a logical evolution of the movement.

      Boss Kroll occupies an elective position, and his supporters apparently love his, um, “approach”. No decent copper apparently would dare challenging him, probably because they would lose and become force pariahs to boot.

      Quite curious how “conservatives” despise public employee unions in general, but turn a blind eye to (reactionary?) police unions in particular….

  14. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/03/2020 - 08:25 pm.

    I’ll not defend Bob Kroll’s leadership in the least. I will say that unions are legally obligated to represent their members as well as the leach-like free riders who pay no dues when employers take disciplinary action against represented employees.

    Unions that have chose not to represent covered employees have been successfully sued.

  15. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/04/2020 - 12:44 pm.

    I have no problem with police unions in theory. Police officers should be allowed to bargain collectively, just like any other workers, and I think protecting the police against arbitrary discipline or termination (the perhaps unintended but inevitable consequence of “making it easier to get rid of bad cops”) is a good thing. The Minneapolis Police Department in the pre-Don Fraser days was highly politicized, and an officer’s promotion depended a lot on who the Mayor happened to be at the time. Furthermore, there is no reason to think that non-unionized officers will be any less prone to be racist or to engage in wanton violence.

    That said, there is no reason why Minneapolis, or any other city, cannot rein in rogue cops within the existing structure. The City could refuse to offer a legal defense or indemnification to officers who are sued for misconduct. The City could also adopt firm standards regarding misconduct, and make the consequences of misconduct clear in the agreement with the union. One consequence could be blocking promotions for officers with multiple credible misconduct complaints. The specific types of misconduct should be spelled out in the agreement.

    Police unions are not the cause of the problem. As presently constituted, they are exacerbating the problem. Reform is possible, and it is necessary.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 06/07/2020 - 12:13 pm.

      I suppose this is naive and simplistic, but what about providing that disciplinary decisions by the chief arising from use, misuse or excessive force by an officer are not subject to arbitration.

      If the main purpose of a police union is to protect officers charged with brutality from (possibly excessive) discipline then one has to question the legal legitimacy of the union.

  16. Submitted by john herbert on 06/04/2020 - 04:08 pm.

    Authors, thank you for putting forth actual recommendations. I am an educator (with no job security) with experience working with police and want to help, any thoughts on how we in education can work to effectuate some of these/other proposals – I mean the personnel records were just released and at least 3/4 were educated, at least in part, in Minnesota post-secondary institutions. How do we convince the 46% or more or really see no problem? The Legislature will not bend on items 4 and 5 until they are pressured by constituents. I particularly mention those because giving a non-police dominated POST board actual enforcement power and including moral turpitude… as a condition of licensing will greatly aid the cities in getting rid of the unfit and changing the “Use of Force” should be a no-brainer if presented correctly, but who is going to do so? Finally, I think it is critical that law enforcement receive continuing training from OUTSIDE THE PROFESSION on a regular basis. Authors, I know some folks willing to help both inside and outside of the classroom but need to be careful to protect their jobs – feel free to contact me and thank you for the thoughtful article!

  17. Submitted by Terry McDanel on 06/09/2020 - 10:39 am.

    I do not see any reference to another major change that people in Minneapolis and St Paul both want. The state law prohibiting municipalities from having a rule that officers must live in the municipality that they work. For true community policing to work, this has to change. A police officer who lives in the suburbs and works in north Minneapolis or Frogtown is a recipe for very bad policing.

Leave a Reply