Minnesota

What to do here

Click a "Get Template" button to get an email template about a specific issue. Edit the template to connect on a more personal level with your lawmaker. See the Contacting Logistics page for information about how to write an effective email to your lawmakers. Get your lawmakers' emails with the search box to the right. Send the email!

Be sure to check out the Next Steps at the bottom of the page. Go to the References/Further Reading page to see our sources and do some research of your own.

Last updated March 5, 2020

Summary

Key:

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Legislation Achieved

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Some Progress

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No Progress

Demilitarization

Learn about demilitarization and the specific issues below on the Demilitarization page (opens in a new window).

 

No knock warrants

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law eliminating the use of no-knock warrants.

1033 purchases

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law ending its participation in programs that facilitate the transfer of military weapons from the federal government to police departments.

Pending Legislation: HF 487, introduced in January 2021, would prohibit local or state agencies from acquiring military grade weapons through the 1033 Program.

Military style training

Achieved:

HF1, passed July 21,2020, explicitly bans "warrior style training" and includes provisions for implicit bias training.

SWAT data

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law requiring the recording and cataloging of SWAT team use.

For Profit Policing

Learn about for profit policing and the specific issues below on the For Profit Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Civil asset forfeiture

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law ending civil asset forfeiture. Criminal conviction is not required to seize property, and police departments can retain up to 90% of forfeiture proceeds. For instance, the proceeds from marijuana possession forfeiture can easily provide over $1 million in any given year.

Pending Legislation: HF 937, introduced in February 2021, requires that any asset forfeiture must be associated with a criminal charge, eliminating the process of civil asset forfeiture

Quotas

Some Progress:

Federal funds and the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant provide billions of dollars to Minnesota police departments incentivizing drug arrests like minor marijuana possession. However, quotas for traffic violation tickets are illegal.

Pending Legislation: HF 244, introduced in January 2021, prohibits law enforcement agencies from evaluating officer performance based on number of citations or stops.

Cost of misconduct

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law requiring police departments (not state general funds) to cover the cost of misconduct.

Broken Windows Policing

Learn about broken windows policing and the specific issues below on the Broken Windows Policing page (opens in a new window).

 

Minor offenses

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law decriminalizing minor offenses that do not threaten public safety such as spitting and loitering.

Objective justification for stops

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law requiring officers to establish objective justification for making a stop (i.e. not simply for furtive movement, suspicious activity, or matching a generalized description).

Reporting stop details

Some Progress:

Minnesota officers are required to detail gender, race, and presence of a firearm in their reports, although it is not clear if this requirement extends to general civilian stops. Furthermore, HF1, passed on July 21, 2020, requires that departments must report to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension all information requested by the FBI regarding incidents of police use of force.

Accountability

Learn about accountability and the specific issues below on the Accountability page (opens in a new window).

 

Reckless civil rights violation

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law lowering the prosecution requirement from ‘willful’ to ‘reckless’ deprivation of another’s rights. While George Floyd's murder has begun the conversation among Minnesota lawmakers about the "willful" deprivation of rights, no concrete action has been taken.

Independent investigation

Achieved:

HF 1, passed July 21, 2020, establishes an independent unit of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate cases of officer-involved fatalities and sexual assault cases.

Qualified immunity

No Progress:

Minnesota has not yet enacted a law ending qualified immunity, though government representatives at the federal level have signaled support for the ending qualified immunity.

Reinvesting in Communities

Learn about reinvesting in communities and the specific issues below on the Reinvesting in Communities page (opens in a new window).

 

Mental health response

Some Progress:

HF1, passed on July 21, 2020, mandates that every state and local law enforcement agency provide training for officers including 6 hours of crisis-intervention and mental illness crisis training and 4 hours of training to ensure for safer interactions between police officers and those with autism. Training must occur within the officer's three-year licensing cycle. However, this reform still involves dispatching police officers to deal with mental health crisis situations.

Education, Housing, Community Health Resources

No Progress:

It is important to note that policing does not address the roots of social disadvantage and barriers to (economic) opportunity that often lead to crime. Nor should police be burdened with that responsibility.
Without access to quality resources in healthcare, education, and housing, our cities, neighborhoods, and families will continue to suffer. We should instead reassess the budgets of the state government and reinvest in the services that matter most.

Next Steps

No matter what, register to vote:

Contacting officials is just one piece of the puzzle we can't stop there. We need to make sure our elected officials reflect our values and support reform at every level of government. Register here:

To keep these policies at the forefront:

Keep emailing about them (if you just finished the 5 Days Challenge, keep up the schedule—set reminders in your phone to email about each issue on its specific day).

To ask for more than this:

Use our templates as a model to ask for bigger changes. Color for Change and The Movement for Black Lives both have specific policy related to a reimagined law enforcement system. If you think there are additional policies we ought to consider, send your thoughts our way.

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