Police groups sue over changes to Minnesota deadly force law

National News

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A coalition of Minnesota’s largest law enforcement groups has sued the state to overturn a state law that changed the standard for justified use of deadly force by police.

The lawsuit claims the law violates officers’ rights to self-defense and unconstitutionally compels officers to forfeit their rights to refuse to testify against themselves in deadly force cases.

The law underwent a major rewrite following George Floyd’s death in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers last May.

The bill contains limits on no-knock warrants and on the use of informants. It was amended on the floor to allow “sign-and-release” warrants so that police aren’t required to arrest low-level offenders just because they had missed a court appearance. But Democrats who control the House dropped their push for a ban on “pretextual” traffic stops for minor offenses such as expired license tabs.

The approval follows on a police accountability package passed last summer that included a statewide ban on the use of chokeholds.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the rewritten standard narrowed the conditions for when deadly force is deemed appropriate.

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