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Minnesota company target of police-training criticism

Plus: alternative ways for police to respond to mental-health calls; U.S. Bank stadium calendar basically empty for 2020; and more.

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Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

Minnesota company in the spotlight. The LA Times’  Jie Jenny Zou, Elliot Wailoo and Molly O Toole report: “In the weeks since Floyd’s death was captured on video, protests have reignited calls for police reform and a deeper look at use-of-force training nationwide. In several police departments, that training comes from a Minnesota company called the Force Science Institute, or FSI, which remains popular with agencies despite, experts say, a long history of disputed concepts like ‘excited delirium’ to justify encounters that sometimes turn deadly. … Its critics include a former Justice Department official and the head of a top policing group, who worry that the institute’s offerings are ineffective and foster fear among officers that can lead to unnecessary force.”

Policing alternatives. MPR’s Alisa Roth reports: “Police are often called on to respond to mental health emergencies. That could change, though, as cities across the country — including Minneapolis — consider defunding the police. What would an alternative model look like? … In some cases, the police are still the ones who respond to mental health calls, but they’re specially trained to do it. In San Antonio, Joe Smarro is a longtime member of the Police Department’s mental health unit. It’s part of a larger program in the city that includes a one-stop shop where police can bring people instead of jail or the emergency room.”

Calendar’s clear. The Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson reports:COVID-19 has essentially shutdown U.S. Bank Stadium for the rest of 2020 with the possible exception of Minnesota Vikings, high school league games and a holiday bazaar. … As of Monday, the four-year-old stadium has no major events on the fall schedule. Even if the NFL season goes ahead, it’s unlikely to include a packed house of fans. … U.S. Bank Stadium typically hosts hundreds of gatherings a year from small business meetings and receptions to high school sporting events and conventions. Some of those may still occur later in the fall, but they’re not definitive.”

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