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Minnesota company target of police-training criticism

police tapes
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.”

In other news…

Rep. Omar’s father:‘He was loved by everyone’: Somali community remembers Nur Omar Mohamed, who died of COVID-19” [Sahan Journal]

Just trying to help:Retired police chief intervenes when couple is randomly attacked in St. Paul; he’s also assaulted” [Pioneer Press]

Well done:Minnesota athlete Taquarius Wair honored with an ESPY” [KARE]

Drive-through zoo:Minnesota Zoo To Open ‘Beastly Boulevard’ Drive-Thru This Week” [WCCO]

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by lisa miller on 06/22/2020 - 04:29 pm.

    Thank you for mentioning the MPR article. It is true, most of the time people in a mental health crisis are not violent. Families and community often call due to concern the situation is escalating and they do not feel safe. The concern is that things may continue to escalate; also there have been rare cases such as the recent one in Honolulu where 2 non armed community out reach cops were killed on a call, so while sometimes sending out social workers or specially trained cops might work; other times its not an option, especially late at night or when there are multiple issues going on. Also there needs to be more discussion about what type of training those cops would have.

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