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Whitmer announces plans for police reform

Whitmer urged police agencies to require their officers intervene when they see another officer show an excessive use of force.
Credit: State of Michigan
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a press briefing on Monday, May 18, 2020.

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her support for a series of policy plans for police reform in Michigan Wednesday. Among other things, Whitmer called for new training and policies to create a police culture where all Michiganders are treated with dignity and respect.

“The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were a result of hundreds of years of inequity and institutional racism against Black Americans,” said Whitmer said. “Here in Michigan, we are taking action and working together to address the inequities Black Michiganders face every day. That’s why I'm calling on Michigan police departments to strengthen their training and policies to save lives and keep people safe. I am also ready to partner with the Michigan Legislature and law enforcement officials to pass police reform bills into law.”

Whitmer is calling on law enforcement agencies to enhance training and policies. She also voiced support for measures that require law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias de-escalation techniques. Additionally, Whitmer urged police agencies to require their officers intervene when they see another officer show an excessive use of force.

Here is a list of reform actions Whitmer is taking:

  • Requesting that the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) provide guidance to law enforcement agencies on continuing education that will help officers keep up with the everchanging landscape of new laws and issues facing the community.
  • Encouraging police departments to participate in comprehensive reporting on the use of force by police departments.
  • Urging law enforcement agencies to implement duty to intervene polices.
  • Calling on the Legislature to act on SB 945, which would require by law that officers go through implicit bias training, de-escalation techniques and mental health screenings.

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