Police reforms since June 2020

We've made dozens of reforms over the last few years, and the work is far from over.

MPD Reforms in 2023

January 2023

Crowd management:

  • This policy was updated to incorporate the POST model policy on crowd management and first amendment activities. This includes clarifying the use of crowd control weapons and devices, defines what can be used as a crowd control or dispersal tactic, and increases authorization requirements for their use. 

Complaint reporting:

  • The policy and procedures for complaints against MPD employees updated to require Internal Affairs to accept a complaint regardless of the medium used to make the complaint (email, letter, anonymous tip) and to more explicitly prohibit retaliation against anyone for filing or participating in a complaint investigation. 

February 2023

Limitation of hours worked:

  • The policy limits the number of hours an officer may work in a pay period to 160 total. An emphasis on rest and wellness was a key component in building out this new policy which also requires at least 8 consecutive hours off for every 24 hours worked and requires employees have at least one full 24-hour day with no work shifts in any capacity each week.

March 2023

Use of Force policy:

  • Amended to prohibit the use of the Maximal Restraint Technique (MRT) and related devices.

MPD Reforms in 2022

August 2022

Read the August 2022 MPD reform work update

June 2022

Updated discipline matrix:

  • The updated matrix reflects a new framework that guides disciplinary decisions in support of a system that is fair, consistent, and transparent. Additionally, the updated matrix reflects both the values of MPD and the expectations of the community for MPD accountability. 
  • Additional new changes to the updated matrix include an entire violation section to clearly identify policy violations that warrant termination and explicitly spelling out a range of discipline for each violation level.

Read the June 2022 MPD reform work update

April 2022

Warrant and entry policy:

  • Prohibition on the application for, and execution of, all no-knock (unannounced) search warrants within the City of Minneapolis.
  • Under the new policy, MPD will no longer request or respond to requests on behalf of other jurisdictions for no-knock warrants. The new restrictions will make Minneapolis’ policy among the most forward-looking and extensive in the nation.
  • The policy makes significant changes and restrictions for both the application for and execution of knock-and-announce search warrants, while adding additional layers of accountability to the review process following issuance of a search warrant.

March 2022

Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) training:

  • ABLE training is a data-driven program developed in partnership with Georgetown University Law. This program emphasizes officer intervention and provides training to officers from agencies across the country to deliver the ABLE curriculum.
  • This curriculum was incorporated into the MPD academy in the end of 2021 and is being delivered on an ongoing basis starting March 2022.

February 2022

Police records restructure:

  • All data requests – police and other City business – will be initially processed by a team from the Office of the City Clerk. Five full-time employees from MPD’s Records and Information Unit have been moved to the City Clerk to handle the increased volume of requests. 
  • Until this change, police data requests had been handled exclusively by MPD. Those requests ranged from copies of public police and accident reports to more complex requests for statistics, personnel data, video, case files and hundreds of reports that all needed to be reviewed before releasing.

MPD Reforms in 2021

August 2021

Limitations on pretextual stops:

  • Minneapolis Police Officers will no longer be conducting stops for expired tabs, an item dangling from a mirror, or an expired license.
  • Officers shall not initiate a traffic stop when the only offense is one of the following: expired tabs; an item dangling from the rearview mirror, unless that object impairs the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely; inoperable license plate lights.

Suspension ticket prosecution changes:

  • The City Attorney’s Office will stop prosecuting tickets for driving after suspension when the only basis for the suspension was a failure to pay fines or fees and there was no accident or other egregious driving behavior that would impact public safety.

June 2021

Field Training Officer programming updates:

  • A new FTO Coordinator is managing the transformation of and substantial changes to the structure of the FTO program. These changes include centralized oversight, increased and ongoing discipline review for FTOs, new on-the-job monitoring technology that is able to track the daily performance of Officers in Training (OIT), track the types of calls responded to, electronically store and track tasks completed.

March 2021

Additional restrictions on less lethal munitions:

  • Clarified that only SWAT is authorized to carry a 40mm launcher during a civil disturbance or assembly unless the Chief/Deputy Chief approves other trained officers to carry and that the SWAT supervisor will coordinate authorized use when on scene for any officers on scene who are authorized to carry 40mm launchers.

February 2021

New requirements for temporary activation of body worn cameras:

  • Amending the Body Worn Camera (BWC) policy to prohibit officers from temporarily deactivating BWCs to have private discussion on the scene of an incident.

Recruit application redesign:

  • Redesigned application process to assign stronger focus on Minneapolis residency, social service experience, and volunteerism for new recruits – made possible by 2020 state law change.

January 2021

Complaint investigation and disciplinary process:

  • Embedded Assistant City Attorney within MPD and the Office of Police Conduct Review (OPCR) to help strengthen oversight and accountability in complaint intake and misconduct investigations.

MPD Reforms in 2020

November 2020

Restrictions on unannounced entry (no-knock) warrants:

  • New policy for how and when MPD is involved with unannounced entry or “no-knock”, including a requirement that outside of limited, exigent circumstances, like a hostage situation, MPD officers will be required to announce their presence and purpose prior to entry.

September 2020

Use of deadly force:

  • Makes MPD policy as stringent as possible under State law by requiring officers first consider all reasonable alternatives to deadly force and use the minimum level of force needed.
  • An officer shall use de-escalation techniques and other alternatives to higher levels of force consistent with their training whenever feasible and appropriate before resorting to force and to reduce the need for force.

Officers’ actions leading to unnecessary force:

  • Officers cannot deliberately use actions or words to incite escalating behavior and then use it justify the use of force.

Ban on shooting at moving vehicles:

  • Prohibit firearms from being discharged at a moving or fleeing vehicle unless the officer or another person is being threatened with deadly force, including attempts to disable the vehicle by firing at it.

Comprehensive use of force and de-escalation reporting:

  • Clarifies and expands what the department considers to be a use of force (such as unholstering a firearm), and subjects those actions to the same scrutiny, reporting procedures and, in the event of a violation, discipline that other use of force is subject to. Moves away from the minimum standard of what is legally permissible and towards a higher standard of best practices authorized by city policy.

July 2020

Comprehensive use of force and de-escalation reporting:

  • Requires documentation of low-level force used and what de-escalation efforts were made or attempted, expands documentation and reporting requirements around de-escalation strategies, and reinforces the focus and importance of using de-escalation strategies in the field. 

June 2020

Requirements for use of crowd control weapons:

  • During protests and demonstrations, use of all crowd control weapons must be authorized only by the Chief of Police, or the Chief’s designee at the rank of Deputy Chief or above.
  • Crowd control weapons include, but are not limited to, chemical agents, rubber bullets, flash-bangs, batons, and marking rounds.
      • Note: There is an exception in the policy language for use of certain weapons against an individual due to the risk of imminent physical harm.

Duty to intervene:

  • Requires any officer, regardless of tenure or rank who observes another employee use any prohibited force, or inappropriate or unreasonable force (including applying force when it is no longer required), must attempt to intervene by verbal and physical means.

Duty to report:

  • Requires any officer, regardless of tenure or rank who observes another employee use any prohibited use of force, or inappropriate or unreasonable force (including applying force when it is no longer required), has an affirmative duty to immediately report the incident while still on scene to an on-scene supervisor and by phone or radio to their Inspector or Commander or to their Inspector or Commander's superiors. The employee must also notify Internal Affairs.

Ban chokeholds and neck restraints:

  • Neck Restraints and choke holds are prohibited. Instructors are prohibited from teaching the use of neck restraints or choke holds.

Body worn camera (BWC) requirements and compliance:

  • New policies prohibit officers in critical incidents from reviewing body camera footage prior to completing their initial police reports.

Union involvement at critical incident crime scenes:

  • Union representatives removed from list of individuals that officers involved in or witness to a critical incident may talk to about the incident while at the scene of a critical incident.

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