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Minnesota passes police reforms after George Floyd killing

July 21, 2020

The Minnesota police reforms include a ban on choke holds similar to one used on the late George Floyd. The reforms are seen as some of the most substantial changes to the state's criminal justice system.

Minneapolis police in riot gear during a George Floyd protest
Image: Getty Images/S. Olson

Minnesota's legislature passed a sweeping package of police reforms in the wake of the George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

The state's Congress passed the measures, called "The MN [Minnesota] Police Accountability Act" within two months of the death of George Floyd in police custody, which sparked major protests in the US and beyond.

The bill has been sent to the desk of governor Tim Walz, a Democrat who had called for the changes, to be signed into law. He said on Twitter that the bill before him was "only the beginning," and that he looked forward to signing "these long-overdue reforms." 

The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper dubbed the package "one of the most substantial changes to the state's criminal justice system in years."

What's in the police reform bill?

  • Bans certain neck restrains and chokeholds.
  • Requires other officers to intervene if another officer is using excessive force
  • Bans warrior-style training in which officers are instructed to view all encounters as inherently dangerous
  • Requires data collection on officer misconduct and use of deadly force incidents
  • Allows for more community input on policing policies and practices
  • Increases funding for crisis intervention training
Minneapolis police arresting George Floyd before his death
Image: AFP/Facebook/Darnella Frazier

George Floyd's death

The passage of the legislation comes nearly two months after Floyd's death on May 25. Floyd was restrained face down in the street by multiple police officers, including one white officer pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes.

Three police officers were charged for Floyd's death, which was officially declared a homicide

Floyd's death sparked demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice across the United States. The protests also inspired similar demonstrations against racism in other parts of the world, including in France and Germany over the weekend.

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