The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota has agreed to ban the use of chokeholds and neck restraints by police officers and implement a requirement that police officers must intervene when they see another officer using force without prior authorization, The Associated Press reported on Friday. The City Council is expected to approve these changes later on Friday.
The agreement to make these policy changes within the Minneapolis Police Department was the result of negotiations between city officials and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched an investigation into the Minneapolis PD earlier this week, according to The Associated Press. The investigation began as a result of the death of George Floyd during an incident with four Minneapolis police officers, all of whom have been arrested and charged in connection with Floyd’s death.
BREAKING: Minneapolis city negotiators agreed to ban police chokeholds after #GeorgeFloyd's killing.
Police will also need authorization to use chemical agents or rubber bullets. City council is expected to approve the changes today. pic.twitter.com/8fYfG8Akyo
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 5, 2020
Per The Associated Press, the new policy would require all police officers, regardless of rank or position, to immediately call their superior officer any time a chokehold or neck restraint is used in the field. It also requires any police officer who sees another officer using force without the proper authorization to immediately intervene, verbally, or physically. Officers who fail to intervene will face the same level of punishment as the officers using unauthorized force.
The agreement reached by city officials and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights also included policy changes around using forceful methods of crowd control, The Associated Press reported. The use of chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades, batons, and marking rounds will all need to be authorized by a police chief or someone designated as deputy chief before they are used.
Lastly, the agreement stated that any time police officers are subject to discipline for violating these rules, that decision would need to be made in a timely fashion, per The Associated Press.
Violation of any of these new policies will be enforceable by a court of law, which is not currently the way regulations against unauthorized use of force and an officer’s duty to intervene currently work in the Minneapolis Police Department, The Associated Press reported.
The Minnesota Police Department has been heavily criticized for their use of force, both in the past and since the death of Floyd while in police custody. As Inquisitr reported shortly after Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin — the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes — had been reported for police misconduct several times over his 19-year career in the Minneapolis Police Department. Since protests against police brutality began last week, the Minneapolis Police Department has also been criticized for its use of force against protesters.