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Minnesota Governor signs “long overdue” police accountability bill

“These critical reforms are long overdue — they are meant to strengthen transparency and community oversight,” Gov. Tim Walz said.

Tim Walz Getty Images

Two months after George Floyd was killed in police custody, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz officially signed a police accountability bill into place on Thursday (July 23). This law includes a ban on neck-restraints, much like the one used on Floyd right before he passed away.

The bill also includes a ban on chokeholds, “warrior-style” training and states that an officer has to intervene if his colleague uses “excessive force and changes rules on the use of force to stress the sanctity of life,” according to CBS News.

“This bipartisan piece of legislation moves us toward a critical step towards criminal justice reform,” Gov. Walz said. “These critical reforms are long overdue — they are meant to strengthen transparency and community oversight.”

The legislation will also create a new “advisory council for the state board that licenses officers, makes changes in arbitration rules affecting police unions and requires more training on dealing with people with mental health issues and autism.”

Last month, the House of Representatives passed the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” and it was supported by all 233 House Democrats and three Republican representatives.

“Today with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House is honoring his life and the lives of all those killed by police brutality and pledging: Never again,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on June 25. “When we pass this bill, the Senate will have a choice: to honor George Floyd’s life or to do nothing.”

The bill would place federal bans on police chokeholds and no-knock search warrants in drug raids, prohibit racial profiling and establish a national registry of police misconduct through the Department of Justice.

The legislation will not defund police departments or redistribute funds to community programs. Officers will be personally liable for all damages in misconduct lawsuits and military surplus equipment will be stopped from going to police departments.

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