Minneapolis’ police department agreed Friday to new measures to combat excessive police force after negotiations with the state of Minnesota.
After former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of and killed George Floyd, negotiators for the city agreed to ban police from using chokeholds. The city also agreed to mandate officers intervene verbally and physically if they see other officers using excessive force, risking punishment as severe as the officer using the force if they fail to intervene. That measure comes after two other officers also helped Chauvin restrain Floyd and one simply looked on. Chauvin is facing second-degree murder charges, while the other three ex-officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Protests have taken over Minneapolis and much of the country after Floyd’s death at the hands of police, prompting complaints and videos of police forcefully restraining protesters who were seemingly peaceful. Under the Friday agreement, officers will have to get permission from Minneapolis’ police chief or a designated deputy chief to use crowd control weapons such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons. The changes come after the Minnesota Department of Human Rights launched an investigation into Floyd’s death.
Police forces in New York and Miami have had “duty to intervene” rules on the books, but what’s known as a “blue wall of silence” has still stopped other officers from stepping in to prevent or reporting wrongdoing, Vice News reports. Protesters and news sources have shared many videos showing NYPD officers attacking protesters and reporters over the past week.