MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis admitted Friday that in the first concrete steps to remake the city’s police force since the death of George Floyd, police should try to block sockholes and prevent any other officers from using improper force.
The changes are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights that began a civil rights investigation this week in response to Floyd’s death. The city council approved the deal 12-0.
Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said, “These changes are necessary to prevent continued harm to people of color who have experienced generational pain and trauma as a result of systemic and institutional racism.”
“This is just the beginning,” Lucero said. “There’s a lot more work to be done here, and that work has to be done with speed and social engagement.”
This agreement requires court approval and will be implemented in court, unlike the department’s current policies regarding the use of force and duties to intervene. Officers should report to their superiors immediately if they see any neck restriction or use of the chokehold.
After Floyd stopped moving, the handcuffed black man Floyd died after Floyd pressed his knee on Officer Derek Chuvv’s neck, ignoring the cries and audience shouts of “I can’t breathe.” His death has caused protests around the world.
Chauvin has a 2-degree murder charge. Three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting. All have been fired.
Lucero said the changes go further than the department’s current policies. Any officer who does not try to stop the use of improper force will face the same discipline as they used improper force.
The agreement requires the approval of the police chief or deputy chief to use crowd control weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades. Such tactics were used last week to disperse protesters in Minneapolis and other cities.
The stipulation sets out a process for negotiating long-term changes, such as changing state laws that make it difficult to eliminate problematic authorities.
“This is a moment that will completely change the way our police department operates,” Mayor Jacob Frey told the council. “We can lead them in our nation to implement more police reforms than any other city in the entire country. We cannot fail.”
Meanwhile, on the night of his death, a man with Floyd told the New York Times that his friend did not object to the arrest, but instead tried to mitigate the situation before handing him over to the ground.
Maurice Lester Hall, a longtime friend of Floyd’s, who was traveling in Floyd’s car when police approached him on May 25, responded to a call about someone using a fake bill at a store. Hall told the newspaper that Floyd was trying to show he was not opposed.
“Please, officer, what is all this?” I could hear him begging. ”Hall told the Times.
Hall was a key witness in a state investigation into four officers who arrested Floyd. Hall’s identity was not made public until the Times report.
Hall said “Good Morning America” quickly deteriorated and the cops caught Floyd, loaded him into a squad car, dragged him out, and then “jumped in the back of the neck.” He said Floyd was placed in an ambulance and was unaware that his friend had died until the day after the widely viewed visitor video on Facebook.
“He was crying at the time that he should help anyone because he was dying,” Hall told the Times. “I will always remember seeing the fear in Floyd’s face because he was such a king. It was like watching a grown man cry before a grown man dies.