Police reform is a topic that has been at the heart of numerous local and national government discussions throughout this decade. When the actions of law enforcement put others’ lives in danger or cause the loss of life through unreasonable force, police misconduct and brutality are grave concerns . Although police reform has been a relevant topic for many years, creating actual change takes an abundance of time and effort from both government officials and the general public. In Michigan, Governor Whitmer is calling for action.
Recent Events Require Action From Law Enforcement
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man from Minneapolis, Minnesota was killed when a police officer kneeled on his neck while under arrest for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill. Floyd was underneath the officer’s knee for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds. During that time, he and others around him called out for help. In the weeks before Floyd’s death, Breonna Taylor, a Black EMT living in Louisville, KY was shot to death by police entering her home (the wrong address) unannounced.
Following the death of these two individuals, people across the country and around the world stood up to demand justice for the lives taken. As a result, numerous cities and states have plans to initiate police reform for local law enforcement.
Current Plans to Stop Police Brutality In Michigan
In recent years, Michigan has put policies into place to reduce the amount of police brutality cases and to educate and train law enforcement. Michigan has taken the following actions towards police reform:
- Set a goal to increase the racial minority trooper applicant pool to 25% and the female trooper applicant pool to 20% to diversify the department.
- Established community service trooper positions to institute a community policing concept statewide.
- Posted all non-confidential department policies online to increase transparency.
- Created an Equity and Inclusion Officer position within the department.
- Implemented recurring implicit bias training for all enforcement members and assisted in the development and pilot of a nationwide implicit bias training for civilian personnel.
- Generated a public-facing transparency web portal for Freedom of Information Act requests.
- Revised the department’s pursuit policy to limit the circumstances in which MSP members can engage in a vehicle pursuit.
Police reform not only includes changes to policy but also the implementation of vital education for law enforcement officials.
What Are the Next Steps Towards Police Reform in Michigan?
In addition to the actions already taken, Governor Whitmer also recommended reforms that will further enhance the diversity and policies of law enforcement. Such reform includes:
- Encouraging police departments to participate in efforts that are underway on comprehensive reporting on the use of force by police departments.
- For the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to guide law enforcement agencies. They will implement continuing education to help officers keep up with the landscape of new laws and issues facing the community, including diversity and implicit bias training.
- Urging law enforcement agencies to implement duty-to-intervene policies.
In addition to these proposals, the governor also asked law enforcement officers across the state to go through training regarding de-escalation techniques and implicit bias as well as undergo regular mental health screenings.
Legal Counsel for Police Brutality Cases in Michigan
If your civil rights have been violated or you are a victim of police brutality, you need the guidance of experienced legal counsel. A knowledgeable legal team will be able to create a viable strategy that stands up in court.
In Michigan, the attorneys at Christopher Trainor & Associates have been practicing law for more than twenty years. All of the legal professionals at our office care deeply about each client and believe that no one person is more important than the next. For that reason, we do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
Call 1-800-961-8477 or contact us online today. A free consultation might be just what you need to win the justice you deserve and take control of your future.