State lawmakers wrap up second special session with police reform compromise

State lawmakers wrap up second special session with police reform compromise

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Legislature’s second special session wraps up with a compromise on police reform.

Early Tuesday morning, the Minnesota Legislature passed a broad police accountability package that includes a ban on neck restraints like the one that was used on George Floyd before his death in Minneapolis.

It also bans chokeholds and warrior-style training and imposes a duty to intercede on officers who see a colleague using excessive force.

Passage came nearly two months after Floyd’s death on May 25 and the ensuing unrest that spread around the world over police brutality and racism.

Local lawmakers like Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL - North Mankato) and Sen. Rich Draheim (R - Madison Lake) now react to the deal.

“Well first of all I’m glad to see a compromise, and I’m glad to see the bill and was glad to vote for it. It’s a good first step. It allows for somethings that both sides wanted,” Frentz said.

“They don’t need us to come in and do it, but there are some basic changes in there that are good, and I think it does help maybe some of the smaller agencies have a guideline on what to do,” Draheim said.

The compromise further aims to provide better training for mental health.

It also forms a Use of Force Investigations Unit to conduct officer-involved death investigations.

The second special session also comes to an end without a bonding bill or a tax bill.

“Well there’s no question that the biggest disappointment this week was the failure to pass a bonding bill. The state needs us to pass a bonding bill. It supports jobs and projects,” Frentz said.

“It all costs money, and we have to prioritize and pick the necessities. First priorities as a state should be basic transportation,” Draheim said.

A third special session could also happen in August if Gov. Tim Walz chooses to extend his emergency powers.

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