MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Significant changes were announced at an emergency meeting of the Minneapolis City Council on Friday. Police officers in Minneapolis will no longer be allowed to use choke holds or neck restraints.
Gov. Tim Walz gives credit for the change to the community.
“Those of you who protested peacefully over the past week, changed the policy on chokeholds in Minneapolis,” Gov. Tim Walz said.
Former officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter in George Floyd’s death. The world watched as Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Three other fired officers on scene that day are also charged.
The police action that contributed to George Floyd’s death in south Minneapolis is now banned in the city.
“I think those changes are going to send a clear message to the community that something is being done,” Pastor Charles Karuku of International Outreach Church, said.
Officers who witnesses unauthorized force must report the action and are required to intervene, regardless of rank or tenure. It holds any officer who doesn’t step in with words or action as accountable as an officer using the restraint.
“I think it’s very welcome and it’s a needed change that has been a long time coming,” Melanie Woyak of Prior Lake said.
The city council voted unanimously on the immediate changes Friday afternoon. The action comes after the Department of Human Rights discrimination charge filed against the city of Minneapolis and its police department.
“This is a moment in time where we can totally change the way our police department operates,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.
City council members saying they’re committed to doing the work.
“Dig into what helps everybody feel safe what do we like about our current system what can we not tolerate about our current system,” Steve Fletcher said.
“I’m committed to complete transformation of how the city of Minneapolis keeps our residents safe,” Phillipe Cunningham said.
The community says they’re relying on change.
“I would hope that there will be additional lines of communication that open up. Now is a time to listen, what do the people need,” Sheldon Beilke, who grew up in Minneapolis, said.
“The bottom line is this you have to crawl before you walk you know what. It’s a step by step process this is the beginning,” Raulo Pablo said.
The changes will go into effect within 10 days. It also addresses timely discipline decisions and the ability to audit body worn camera video and building toward other systemic change.
“I appreciate the work by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and Commissioner Lucero’s leadership,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said. “I will continue to work on efforts to improve public trust, public safety and transformational culture change of the MPD. I will be bringing forth substantive policy changes.”
There was no response from the police union.
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