MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lawmakers at the Minnesota State Capitol on Tuesday will be debating the controversial public safety bill. Legislative leaders on both sides announced a deal over the weekend, but many say it’s not enough.
Before that debate, however, the Minnesota Senate began the day by recognizing Waseca police officer Arik Matson and his family. Matson was shot and seriously injured while chasing a suspect.
He and his wife Megan have been working to pass a bill to make penalties more harsh for anyone who assaults police officers, which is a Republican priority.
“Our law enforcement community is tough. They volunteer for a job that puts their lives at risk every single day. A routine call, like a suspicious person, could turn out to be nothing,” Sen. John Jasinski (R-Faribault). “Or you could end up on the other end of the gun from someone who is breaking the law.”READ MORE: Time For Debate On Police Reform, Public Safety Rapidly Evaporating At State Capitol
Matson was just named the 2020 Police Officer of the Year by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. Matson and his wife, Megan, did a one-on-one interview with WCCO in late May.
There’s not a lot of time left for debating police reform. The bill itself is 200 pages long.
Among the things it includes: more funding for police body-worn cameras, limitations on no-knock warrants, and an early warning system to track patterns of police misconduct. It also toughens penalties for people who assault police officers — backed by Matson.MORE NEWS: ‘Just Keep Prevailing And Persevering’: Arik & Megan Matson Go 1-On-1 With WCCO
DFL priorities that didn’t make the cut: there’s no changes to limit traffic stops for minor violations, no sign and release warrants for low-level offenses, and no mandate on police departments to release body-worn camera video to families after someone dies in police custody.