Minnesota’s Largest Law Enforcement Organizations Believe New Use of Lethal Force Act Unconstitutional
The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA), Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association (MSA), Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) and Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) are collectively challenging the new language to ensure officers peacekeepers have good law they can rely on for guidance in situations of lethal force and the public has strong law that will hold officers accountable when warranted.
“Police organizations in Minnesota are committed to upholding the law and serving the communities they have sworn to protect,” said Minnesota Sheriffs Association executive director Bill Hutton. “To do this, however, all Minnesotans, including community members and police officers, need clarity in the law.”
Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association Executive Director Brian Peters said, “The process leading up to last year’s law change was rushed under unprecedented circumstances. This law should have been fixed, but since the legislative session is now over, we must turn to justice. “
Law enforcement agencies had pushed the Minnesota state legislature in 2021 to delay implementation of the new law, but those efforts failed. A delay would have given police chiefs and sheriffs more time to train the more than 10,000 sworn peace officers in Minnesota, the organizations said.
“This law is not only unconstitutional, but impractical in terms of training resources and tight deadlines,” said Jim Mortenson, executive director of Law Enforcement Labor Services. “When it comes to laws regarding the use of lethal force, getting it right is imperative. ”
According to the executive director of the Minnesota Association of Chiefs of Police, Jeff Potts, “The use of lethal force is one of the most critical aspects of a police officer’s job. Minnesota Police Chiefs are committed to training officers to the highest possible standards. The law must be constitutional in order to ensure a transparent process and a fair result for all those involved in this type of case.
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