Gov. Whitmer Announces Police Reform Plans
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, died in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a tragic death that has created quite a reaction all across America. Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and was charged last week with third degree murder and manslaughter. His charges have since been upped to second degree murder and manslaughter. And now the three other officers who were on the scene assisting the other officer have also been charged.
The other former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All across America we have seen peaceful protests and violent rioting damaging vehicles and store fronts. Law enforcement reports many of those causing the destruction and looting were arrested, and many were not from the city or state where the incidents occurred. Law enforcement suspects some of the rioting was done by organized groups.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office will take action in the coming weeks to bring concrete changes that she says are long overdue. She said,
The fact is this: we cannot lose one more life simply because we’re unwilling to acknowledge that there are problems with how and who we police. Law enforcement agencies must strongly and loudly condemn racism and police brutality. But that alone isn’t enough. We also must make meaningful changes to ensure no one else loses their life in the way George Floyd did.
Governor Whitmer has also responded by announcing plans for police reform. From the governor's press release:
Today [June 3rd], Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her support for a series of policy plans for police reform in Michigan, calling on Michigan law enforcement agencies to enhance their training and policies to help create a police culture where all Michiganders are treated with dignity and respect under the law. Governor Whitmer also voiced her support for measures that require law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques, and applauded the Senate for taking up Senate Bill 945, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Irwin, which addresses many of these issues. The governor also urged police agencies to require their officers to intervene when they observe an excessive use of force by another officer, which will save lives and help to keep people safe.
You can read the full statement here.